Clark Street is a north-south street in Chicago, Illinois that runs close to the shore of Lake Michigan from the northern city boundary with Evanston, to 2200 South in the city street numbering system. At its northern end, Clark Street is at 1800 West; however the street runs diagonally through the Chicago grid for about 8 miles (13 km) to North Avenue (1600 N) and then runs at 100 West for the rest of its course south to Cermak Road. It is also seen in Riverdale beyond 127th street across the Calumet River, along with other nearby streets that ended just south of the Loop. The major length of Clark Street runs a total of 98 blocks.
Clark Street is named for George Rogers Clark, an American Revolutionary War soldier who captured much of the Northwest Territory from the British and was the elder brother of William Clark. Within the Chicago Loop Clark Street is one of the original streets laid out by James Thompson in his 1830 plat of Chicago. North of the Loop, from North Avenue, it roughly follows part of the path of an Indian trail called Green Bay trail (later Green Bay Road) that ran all the way to Green Bay, Wisconsin. In the 1950s Clark Street between Ohio and Armitage Streets was a substantial neighborhood barrio home to the first Puerto Ricans in Chicago. It was unofficially known as La Clark by the Puerto Ricans that lived there arriving from the steel mills of Indiana and rural migrant camps. This was primarily during the Great Migration and war effort during and after World War II. They worked at the downtown hotels, the meat packing plants and the nearby factories then located near downtown industrial areas. Many original members of the Young Lords a turned around street gang that transformed into a Latino civil and human rights movement were sons and daughters of these immigrants and grew up in La Clark. There was another smaller community or barrio that developed around the same time as La Clark and stretched from Halsted to about Kedzie along Madison known to Puerto Ricans as just: La Madison. It was concentrated more around Van Buren and Laflin but was displaced by both the construction of the Eisenhower Expressway and The University of Illinois Circle Campus.