For a neighborhood just minutes from downtown that has a large stock of beautiful old mansions and one of Chicago's most famous parks, Washington Park has long been overlooked by businesses and real estate developers. Its population has fallen precipitously as residents left in search of more opportunity, leaving vacant lots and boarded up buildings.
But don't count out Washington Park. The adjacent park was chosen for the site of a future Olympic stadium as part of Chicago's failed 2016 Olympic bid. Even though the Olympics were recently awarded to Rio de Janeiro, some have argued that the neighborhood got a lot of exposure during the run-up to the decision.
Some of the factors that had been perceived as weighing down long-term development prospects in Washington Park, such as the Robert Taylor Homes, a notorious high rise public housing development, are past issues. The development was torn down as part of an ongoing project to transform public housing in Chicago as mixed income communities.
Regarding the future, see Washington Park's 2009 Quality-of-Life Plan.
||down 12% from 2000
||96% African American
|Total occupied units (2010)
||down 13% since 2000
|Owner occupied units (2010)
||up 2% since 2000
|Median household income (2010)
|up 23% from 2000
|Percentage above $50,000
||11% above $75,000
New South Side Plan: From Vacant Land to “Productive Landscapes”
- John McCarron, Nov 29, 2012
- Citizens, planners across eight communities envision community gardens, "pocket" parks, 30-block hiking trail and other features in neighborhoods with vacant land and few signs of major development.
A Growthful Enterprise on Perry Street
- Ed Finkel, Oct 12, 2012
- The Perry Street farm in Washington Park will result in locally grown fresh produce and jobs for residents.
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
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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