During the 1850s, Archer Heights remained undeveloped swampland, home to few settlers. There was little economic development in the area despite the establishment of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, the Chicago & Alton Railroad, and Archer Road. After the turn of the century in 1900, spectators developed residential sections of Archer Heights.
The establishment of electric streetcars by 1906 created an influx of Poles, Italians, Lithuanians, Czechs, and Russian Jews. The 1930s and 1940s brought industrial and commercial growth and about two-thirds of the area became industry. Residential growth, however, picked up again following World War II. The population fluctuated between 1950 and 1990 with the decline of Midway’s significance as the main airport in Chicago. During this time, the population remained notably consistent in composition.
At the end of the twentieth century, 60 percent of Archer Heights was for manufacturing and bulk transportation facilities, 30 percent was residential, and 10 percent was commercial. The character of Archer Heights remained consistent throughout the twentieth century as a mostly blue-collar, Caucasian, and industrial population. In the early twenty-first century, the population began to shift as a large number of Hispanic families moved into the neighborhood.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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