North West Side
In 1851, Dunning was reserved by the County for a poor farm and a mental health facility, due to its remote location. More buildings were erected in the 1880s to accommodate the more than one thousand patients. Following the Civil War, Andrew Dunning attempted to form a settlement, but proximity to the facility kept people away. Shoddy living conditions, such as poor heating and insufficient ventilation, contributed to the deaths of many patients.
Official investigations also revealed misconduct, gambling, and patient abuse within the facility. Thus, in 1910, the poorhouse was moved to Oak Forest while the hospital was bought by the state for one dollar. Outside the facility, the population grew only to 1,305. After World War I, Dunning experienced an influx of Swedes, Germans, and Poles. Colleges and other institutions were established, and the population peaked to 43,856 in 1970.
In the decade following, the State Hospital was re-constructed as the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center. During the 1980s and 1990s, Dunning experienced significant institutional, commercial, and residential growth, and became a popular location for residents, with luxury homes and modern facilities. By 2000, the population reached 42,164.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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