Chicago’s South Lakefront neighborhoods have been drivers of the city’s evolution for more than 150 years. Greystone mansions and magnificent parks built in the late 19th Century, followed by the 1893 Columbian Exposition at Jackson Park, attracted huge waves of development and population growth, marking the South Side as the city’s most powerful area beyond the central core. By 1920, the Great Black Migration had brought some 100,000 African-Americans to Chicago from the southern states, creating an economically diverse, though racially segregated, area called the Black Metropolis or black belt. It was and still is the center of African-American life in Chicago.
Today the South Lakefront is undergoing massive and widespread redevelopment. Five large Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) developments are being completely rebuilt as mixed-income neighborhoods. In and around Hyde Park, the University of Chicago has invested more than $1 billion in new facilities and partnered with private developers on off-campus housing and retail projects. With a new Tax Increment Financing District in place, the Washington Park neighborhood is in line for more investment along Garfield Boulevard. And Woodlawn’s 63rd Street spine has new housing at Cottage Grove and two new specialized schools at Ellis Avenue. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]