Greater Grand Crossing, Chicago
Greater Grand Crossing
|Community Area 69 - Greater Grand Crossing|
Lem's Bar-B-Q restaurant on Grand Crossing's 75th Street business district.
Location within the city of Chicago
|• Total||3.56 sq mi (9.22 km2)|
|• Density||9,100/sq mi (3,500/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
parts of 60619, 60620, 60621 and 60637
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
The name "Grand Crossing" comes from an 1853 right-of-way feud between the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway and the Illinois Central Railroad that led to a frog war and a crash that killed 18 people.
The crash was the result of Roswell B. Mason (later to serve as mayor of Chicago) illegally constructing railroad tracks, on behalf of the Illinois Central, across another railroad company's tracks. Due to the lack of safety at the crossing, trains made complete stops here and therefore industry developed around the area to cater to the railroad workers of mostly Irish, Scottish, English, and German descent. The area was further developed by Paul Cornell throughout the 1870s. Grade separation did not occur at the rail crossing until 1912.
By the 1930s, the railroad workers residing in the neighborhood were joined by Swedes and Italians. Throughout the next two decades, African Americans began moving into the neighborhood from the overcrowded Black Belt and that's when Grand Crossing's White residents began to move out of the neighborhood. During the 1950s, the Black population of the neighborhood rose from 6% to 86%. Today, the neighborhood is 97% Black.
The CTA's Red Line provides 24/7 service to Grand Crossing at the 69th Street and 79th Street stations. Additionally, the Metra Electric line provides commuter rail service at the 75th Street station at the intersection of East 75th Street and South Chicago Avenue; the railroad crossing that gave the neighborhood its name.
The Greater Grand Crossing community area has supported the Democratic Party in the past two presidential elections. In the 2016 presidential election, the Greater Grand Crossing cast 12,647 votes for Hillary Clinton and cast 233 votes for Donald Trump (96.68% to 1.78%). Despite Clinton's 94.60% margin of victory, it was only her 16th best finish in the City of Chicago. In the 2012 presidential election, Greater Grand Crossing cast 15,408 votes for Barack Obama and cast 89 votes for Mitt Romney (99.23% to 0.57%). Despite Obama's 98.66% margin of victory, it was only his 11th best finish in the City of Chicago.
- Al Capone, Capone purchased a residence at 7244 South Prairie Avenue in 1923, but shortly after moved to Cicero, Illinois.
- Robert Cooley, Mafia attorney turned government informant and author of "When Corruption Was King".
The Oak Woods Cemetery, established in 1854, is located in Greater Grand Crossing.
The community has since been redeveloped in slow progression and will be an historic landmark for future generations.
- Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Chicago Community Areas Historical Data. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- Profile: Greater Grand Crossing by Jeanette Almada Chicago Tribune (October 7, 1998)
- "Community Data Snapshot - Greater Grand Crossing" (PDF). cmap.illinois.gov. MetroPulse. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Greater Grand Crossing". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society/Newberry Library. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- Koziarz, Jay (April 10, 2019). "Al Capone's South Side family home sells for $116K above asking price". Curbed. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- Robert Cooley Interview; Avila Chicago; 2007; Text: Cooley notes that he lived at 74th & Vernon, as well as 76th & Langley; accessed December 2015
- Can artists save Grand Crossing?
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