Auburn Gresham, Chicago

Coordinates: 41°44.4′N 87°39.6′W / 41.7400°N 87.6600°W / 41.7400; -87.6600
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Auburn Gresham
Community Area 71 - Auburn Gresham
Two-flats built in the early 20th century are common in Gresham.
Two-flats built in the early 20th century are common in Gresham.
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
Coordinates: 41°44.4′N 87°39.6′W / 41.7400°N 87.6600°W / 41.7400; -87.6600
CountryUnited States
 • Total3.77 sq mi (9.76 km2)
 • Total44,878
 • Density12,000/sq mi (4,600/km2)
Demographics (2016-2020)[1]
 • White1.00%
 • Black94.5%
 • Hispanic3.00%
 • Asian0.30%
 • Other1.10%
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
part of 60620
Median income[1]$37,484
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

Auburn Gresham, most commonly referred to simply as Gresham, is one of the 77 official community areas of the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the far south side of the city and was the original location of the South Side Irish Parade before it was relocated to the adjoining Beverly neighborhood immediately southwest.


Auburn Gresham's development as a community dates back to the early nineteenth century, when the area was defined primarily by small German and Dutch settlements. A later influx of Irish railroad workers and others lured to the South Side by newly extended city services in the late nineteenth century led to further residential and commercial growth. In the 1920s, the population increased nearly threefold, from 19,558 to 57,381.[2] The plethora of bungalow-style housing and brick two-flat apartment buildings throughout Auburn Gresham serves as lasting evidence of the community's formative years. Like most other Southside communities, Auburn Gresham suffered from blockbusting, rising crime, and white flight during the 1960s: the neighborhood was nearly 100% white in 1960, but flipped to being 69% black by the 1970 census.

St. Sabina Church, dedicated in June 1933, remains a popular place of worship for many Chicagoans.[citation needed]


Auburn Gresham is serviced by a Metra commuter rail stop at W. 87th St. and Vincennes Ave., which provides daily inbound service to LaSalle Street Station in Chicago and outbound service to Joliet. Community leaders have long encouraged the construction of an additional Metra rail stop at W. 79th St.[3] In 2014, the City of Chicago obtained a half-acre parcel of land on which to construct the station.[4] CTA red line stops at 79th St. and 87th St. are also available along the Dan Ryan Expressway in nearby Chatham.


Chicago Public Library operates the Thurgood Marshall Branch in Auburn Gresham at W. 75th St. and S. Racine Ave. The 13,500 square foot library, which features a 125-seat auditorium, reading garden, and several artworks, opened in April 1994.[5][6]

St. Sabina Church is located in the community, headed by Rev. Michael Pfleger. The church and its priest have been pivotal in helping transform Auburn Gresham, with new housing and store fronts opening up in the neighborhood. One of the largest new single-family home developments in Chicago is nearly complete at W. 87th St. and S. Parnell Ave., in the southeast corner of Auburn Gresham.

Auburn Gresham is home to the St. Leo Campus for Veterans, which includes the Catholic Charities' St. Leo's Residence, the Auburn Gresham Community Based Outpatient Clinic, the St. Leo's Veteran's Garden, and the Pope John Paul II Residence.[7] The community is also home to Perspectives Leadership Academy and Perspectives Technology Academy which are a part of the Renaissance 2010 program. Both schools are housed in the same building that was home to the former Calumet High School in the Auburn Gresham community. Calumet High School was one of Chicago's oldest high schools opening its doors to Auburn Gresham neighborhood students in 1919. The Auburn Gresham community is also home to the first urban S.O.S. Children's Village in the U.S.


Historical population


The Auburn Gresham community area has supported the Democratic Party in the past two presidential elections. In the 2016 presidential election, the Auburn Gresham cast 19,286 votes for Hillary Clinton and cast 272 votes for Donald Trump (97.29% to 1.37%).[9] In the 2012 presidential election, Auburn Gresham cast 24,782 votes for Barack Obama and cast 130 votes for Mitt Romney (99.34% to 0.52%).[10]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Community Data Snapshot - Auburn Gresham" (PDF). MetroPulse. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  2. ^ "Auburn Gresham". Encyclopedia of Chicago. 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  3. ^ "Funding keeps Metra in neutral". Chicago Tribune. December 30, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  4. ^ "City of Chicago :: Land Acquisition Will Support New "Auburn Park" Metra Station". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "Thurgood Marshall". Chicago Public Library. 2012. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "Library Does Justice To A Memory". Chicago Tribune. July 22, 1994. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  7. ^ "St. Leo Campus for Veterans". The Catholic Charities. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Ali, Tanveer (November 9, 2016). "How Every Chicago Neighborhood Voted In The 2016 Presidential Election". DNAInfo. Archived from the original on September 24, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Ali, Tanveer (November 9, 2012). "How Every Chicago Neighborhood Voted In The 2012 Presidential Election". DNAInfo. Archived from the original on February 3, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Dever, Tim, ed. (September 2007). "Sweet Home Cook County" (PDF). Cook County Clerk. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Michael Flatley Sr., Founder of Flatley's Plumbing Express, Has Passed Away". March 14, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Garmes, Kyle (January 22, 2019). "Lyle, 98, earned honors with Tuskegee Airmen". The Beverly Review. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Sweet, Lynn (June 24, 1998). "White House maintains strong Chicago ties". Chicago Sun-Times – via NewsBank.

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