Then and Now, Kedzie-Grenshaw

1945--Kedzie Avenue @ Roosevelt, view south

1945–Kedzie Avenue @ Grenshaw Street, view south

2015--the same location

2015–the same location

We are one block north of Roosevelt Road.  In 1945 North Lawndale, conveniently located less than five miles west of the Loop, was one of Chicago’s most densely-populated neighborhoods.  The Sears, Roebuck campus, with its offices and warehouses, sprawled over several city blocks just to the north.

North Lawndale was devastated by the riots of the 1960s and the decades of decline that followed.  By 2000 most of the old buildings were gone.  So was Sears.  But more recently, new construction has fueled hope for a neighborhood revival.

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2 Responses to “Then and Now, Kedzie-Grenshaw”


  1. 1 CP Long December 28, 2015 at 10:24 am

    My god mother lived over there before things got bad.

  2. 2 rickey2144 January 9, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I remembered in the mid sixties that it was beautiful around Douglas Park are towards Ogden Avenue. My parents rented a second floor two bedroom apartment that was only $135.00 a month! I still have one of my parents rent receipts somewhere around here. A Standard Oil full service station was on the corner of 16th Street, Albany Street, and Ogden Avenue. They would give you some type of green stamps with a purchase of gas and clean your windows too. My dad drove a new 1962 canary yellow Chevy Impala equipped with a record player along with a A.M. radio. Lots and lot of Negroes businesses were in the North Lawndale. I remembered that all Chicago Bus Drivers were males and they worn caps, because it was part of the uniforms. To me if was a good time, even though the gangbangers Goon Squad and Vice Lords was doing evil. Even in the seventies you could order cooked two piece barbecue chicken with fries, bread and coleslaw for $0.69. A 12 ounce pop cost a dime and you get two cent deposit on the empty bottle. But things start turning for the worst in the eighties, and nineties was even getting worst, because of strange drugs on the scene. I have some incredible memories of North Lawndale. So when I see and hear of stories before my time of that area I literally be in awe. I would like to purchase a book on North Lawndale in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s up to the 60’s. I would surely love that!


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