Far Southeast Side
The former swamp land of Riverdale was later used for industrial and manufacturing purposes, with its largest industry being Calumet Paint. In the early 1900s, Sherwin-Williams purchased this plant and the rest is history.
It went on to become one of the largest paint manufacturers in America. With this new industrialism, Riverdale provided jobs not only to its citizens, but to those living in other areas of Chicago as well. However, Riverdale was not exempt from hardship. Government actions transitioned Riverdale from an industrial to a residential area by opening a massive Housing Project called Altgeld Gardens in 1945.
The swift transformation of the area led to a growth in population, from 1,500 in the 1940s to 12,000 by the 1960s, and a racially tense battleground among schools, hospitals, and business. Riverdale has continued to struggle and has lost both jobs and population. By 1990 sixty-three percent of the households lived below the poverty level and thirty-five percent of workers were unemployed.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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