Far Southeast Side
Construction of the railroads originally drew many new residents to the area in the late 1800s. With the success of its industry, primarily steel production, the economy was strong and the population exploded.
During that time, East Siders enjoyed a certain amount of voluntary social isolation being surrounded by water on three sides. Its family and friendship ties remained strong during this time, but racial tension following World War II brought great conflict to the area including race riots as African Americans started to settle in the area.
The decline of the steel industry in Chicago hit East Siders hard, bringing a decline to the economy and driving residents out of the neighborhood in search for employment. Much of the population that left was replaced with a Hispanic population that grew significantly between 1980 and 2000. Although efforts of revitalization have been made with the declaration of the East Side as an “enterprise zone” and the expansion of Ford Motor Company into the former Republic Steel site, the area continues to struggle economically.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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