Our Community

History

 

South Lawndale, or Little Village, is bordered by the Stevenson Expressway on the south, Cermak Road to the north, and Western Avenue and Cicero to the east and west. In 1869, Chicago annexed the area that was to become Lawndale from Cicero Township. After the Great Fire in 1871, Alden C. Millard and Edwin J. Decker, two stationery business owners, gave up their business to build an affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of the city for predominantly Anglo-Saxon residents.They chose this location because land was reasonably priced and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad, which was elevated in 1908 to create the viaduct that currently exists, ran through the area. Homes were advertised as made only of brick and ranged from $2,500 to $8,500 in price. Millard was developed as a main street, with churches, stores, a park, a hotel, a post office and other amenities. Their business venture failed in May 1876, but this laid the groundwork for the future development of Little Village. Read more

Today

 

The principal port-of-entry for Mexican immigrants to the Midwest, Little Village is commonly referred to as the Capital of the Mexican Midwest. Residents of Little Village are 83% Latino, 13% African American and 48% foreign born. The mix of multiple generations of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, other Latinos and African Americans living, working, and shopping together creates a unique culture that blends traditions. Read more