Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. - Psalm 133:1
After the fire of 1871, Near West Side became overcrowded with the 200,000 people who took refuge in the area. This brought many cultures into the neighborhood, including a settlement of Greeks in an area now known as Greektown.
In the 1930s and 1940s, African Americans and Mexicans came in great numbers from the south to the urban north. The construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago also brought an end to much of the historic Italian neighborhood. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area was experiencing an increase in poverty and economic decline and was impacted even greater by the Martin Luther King’s assassination riots in 1968.
Toward the end of the twentieth century the growth of the University once again restructured Near West Side, taking over the historical Maxwell Street Market. With this expansion, the area has more recently become a dwelling place for many middle and upper-class residents who had interest in living near downtown.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig