Woodlawn, on Chicago’s lakefront eight miles south of the Loop, is a predominately mixed-income African-American neighborhood that for years was seen as a “community of last resort,” despite its prime location just south of the University of Chicago.
But after years of disinvestment, residents have joined together to create a more visually stimulating community. One of its main drags, 63rd Street, now hosts new homes and businesses. Along the streets are bike trails; alleys are well-lit and paved; and where there were once vacant lots, neighborhood gardens now provide residents with fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as colorful flowers. Through the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the dilapidated Grove Parc housing development is being transformed in Woodlawn Park, which will feature more appealing rental housing for people of modest means. Meanwhile, through the Children's Promise Community with the University of Chicago, Woodlawns schools are becoming better and stronger.
In the last decade, local community organizations, including the Network of Woodlawn - LISC's partner agency - have been instrumental in building affordable housing, creating health and safety programs and encouraging business development on 63rd Street.
See the neighborhood's 2005 Quality-of-Life Plan.
Woodlawn community area
||down 3.2% from 2000
|Racial/ethnic makeup (2010)
||91% African American
down from 95% in 2000
|Total occupied units (2010)
||down 5.8% from 2000
|Owner occupied units (2010)
||up 8.6% from 2000
|Median household income (2010)
||up 22.9% since 2000
|Percentage above $50,000 (2010)
||12% above $75,000
Leading Locally: Chicago Plans Graduates 20th Neighborhood Team
- Paolo Cisneros, Jun 24, 2016
- Over the course’s two series, Chicago Plans has now graduated 60 total participants from 20 different communities.
Blight ‘Squashed’ on Cottage Grove by Woodlawn Park Partnership
- John McCarron, Sep 8, 2014
- A groundbreaking for senior housing and a squash facility signals the next stage of a Woodlawn redevelopment fueled by POAH, LISC and their partners.
POAH opens The Grant at Woodlawn Park
- Nov 25, 2013
- New 33-unit, mixed-income rental apartment building is the second phase of the Woodlawn Park redevelopment.
New Pillars Lend Support to Woodlawn Renewal
- John McCarron, Mar 6, 2013
- Woodlawn is rising again … though the challenges, like gravity, seem never to go away. Its comeback slowed by the Great Recession, its people saddened by the death of a beloved leader, the…
A Safe Place to Play
- Gordon Walek, Jan 28, 2013
- Health and fitness are significant issues in neighborhoods throughout the city, rich and poor alike. In Pilsen, Little Village, Brighton Park, Woodlawn, Chicago Lawn and South Chicago, neighborhood…
Citizens Proactively Plan on the mid-South Side
- John McCarron, Feb 3, 2012
- Voting is important, but coming out early on a cold Saturday in January to help plan the neighborhood – that’s citizenship
Growing Green Healthy Neighborhoods
- John McCarron, Oct 11, 2011
- When more folks have left than are left, it’s time for a neighborhood to draw up some different kinds of plans. But whatever those plans call for – be it pocket parks, neighborhood…
Project Maps South Side Health and Vitality
- Ed Finkel, Sep 30, 2011
- Partnership between University of Chicago, South Side NCPs focuses on healthcare and other services
U of C, South Side NCPs Partner on ‘Grand Rounds’
- Ed Finkel, Sep 30, 2011
- Community Grand Rounds program brought a broader definition of health issues to a broad range of the community
Promise Community Boosts Woodlawn Education, Health
- Elizabeth Duffrin, Apr 22, 2011
- The Woodlawn Children's Promise Community works to remove academic, social, health and other barriers for Woodlawn's 10,000 children.
Bishop Brazier's Gentle Way Inspires Our Work
- John McCarron, NCP senior scribe, Nov 10, 2010
- LISC/Chicago, its New Communities and all of us who work for stronger neighborhoods mourn the passing of Bishop Arthur M. Brazier (1921-2010), who for a half century was an inspiration to, and…
Programs Bring Harvest of Locally Grown Food
- Ed Finkel, Nov 10, 2010
- During the second five years of its New Communities Program and through other programs like Elev8, LISC/Chicago has redoubled its commitment to efforts that bring healthier, more diverse…
Digital, Funding Programs Boost Neighborhoods
- Sep 15, 2010
- LISC/Chicago’s expertise in neighborhood redevelopment was acknowledged this summer by the award of two significant federal grants that will help community residents stay afloat in the…
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