North Center’s position by the North Branch of the Chicago River has played a big part of the history and settlement of the neighborhood. Concern from the Fire of 1871 led to a growth in the manufacturing of bricks near the river in North Center, earning the name “Bricktown”.
Laborers in this industry moved to the working-class residential area. However, the construction of the “L” brought residents whose economic sustenance did not depend on local industry to settle in the area. The new residents disliked the unappealing sight of the clay pits. Eventually the clay pits shut down and unfortunately transformed into garbage pits ill-suited for residential development.
During the Great Depression, one of Chicago’s first public housing complexes was later developed in North Center, near the boundary to Lincoln Park. More recently, the population of North Center has decreased and been replaced with a diverse mix of Korean, Hispanic and Filipino residents. Today North Center is comprised of quaint modest homes and small businesses.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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