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- 8549 South. Eggleston #
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- 8549 South. Eggleston #
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- 8134 South. Wentworth #
- 8326 South. Lafayette #
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- 35 West. 83rd #
- 7935 South. Wentworth #
- 8036 South. Lafayette #
- 8104 South. Yale #
- 8132 South. Harvard #
- 8039 South. Harvard #
- 8351 South. Perry #
- 7926 South. Perry #
- 8025 South. Wentworth #
- 8122 South. Princeton #
- 8135 South. Perry #
Welcome To West Chatham
Close to several main transportation arteries and home to a thriving middle class, West Chatham is experiencing a modest boom of affordable housing and development. The bulk of West Chatham's residences consists of one- and two-story houses, traditional brick bungalows and split-levels, with some three-flats thrown in the mix. Eating out in this south side Chicago neighborhood is a casual affair. Residents can order a pie from the local pizzeria or get carryout at the old-fashion drive-thru. The community park, fieldhouse and playlot in West Chatham supply enough green space and recreation opportunities to suffice the interests and activity level of any resident, whether you fancy a game of basketball or want to learn some fancy footwork with dance lessons.
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West Chatham Home Sales Statistics
West Chatham FactsLocation: 10 miles south of the Loop
Boundaries: 75th St to the north, Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) to the east, Vincennes Avenue to the west and railroad yards to the south
Demographics: For zip code 60620 which includes West Chatham neighborhood
Median household income: $36,334
Median Age: 35.4 13.9% of population 25 and over have bachelor's degree or higher
Black or African American 95.5%
Hispanic or Latino 0.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.1%
Asian 0.1% Some other race 0.2%
Two or more races 0.7%
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000)
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents
Then and Now
Like much of the area on Chicago's south side, the land where West Chatham neighborhood now exists was just swamp in the early 1800s. This marshy region known as "Mud Lake" in its pre-settled days was a prime spot for duck hunting, and not much else. But in the 1860s, as the swamp and marshlands were drained, farmers began moving into the western edge of Chatham providing the basis for what would eventually develop into West Chatham neighborhood. The laying of the Illinois Central Railroad track in the 1870s brought the first industrial development to the area and by the turn of the century steel mills followed, as did European immigrants who provided labor. Italian, Hungarian and Irish railroad workers moved into Chatham proper and before long Swedes joined the mix, occupying the great number of bungalows springing up throughout the area. By the end of the 1920s, the population had expanded to over 36,000.
In 1950, the number of African American residents in West Chatham was only one percent. In the 1960s, however, the black population grew to over 60 percent by the end of the decade. Unlike many south side Chicago neighborhoods, the transition from a largely white-European populace to a majority of African American families was a relatively smooth one. While some white civic leaders preferred to keep the neighborhood white, no one wanted the violence that segregation was bringing to many other communities and cities across the country. So instead the neighborhood's churches welcomed the new residents into their congregation. In addition, many highly successful African-American owned businesses took root here such as the makers of Ultra Sheen hair care products and several banks including what, until the mid 1990s, was the largest black-owned bank in the country, Independent Bank of Chicago. Eventually, most of the remaining residents of European descent left West Chatham and today the thriving neighborhood is predominately African American.
ParksIf you're looking to pry yourself (or your kids) away from the TV set for a few hours, West Chatham's parks might be just the "tools" you'll need.
West Chatham Park (8223 S Princeton Ave, 312-747-6998) was created in the late 1940s as part of the Chicago Park District's "Ten Year Plan" to create park spaces in under-served communities and to meet the growing recreational demands of the post-WWII Baby Boom. The West Chatham site was recommended by local alderman William Murphy with the backing of area residents in 1948, and within the year the Park District acquired the property to begin construction on the park. Improvements wouldn't come so quickly, but within six years the park did have an athletic field and a playground. In conjunction with the Board of Education, the park now offers recreational programming for all ages and has since upgraded to a soft surface playground. An onsite clubroom for meetings and get-togethers has even been added to the list of park amenities. Kids can participate in sports and day camps, while adults can join in the friendly card games and line dancing classes that also take here.
West Chatham's 3.5-acre Memorial Playlot Park (149 W 73rd St, 312-742-PLAY) was opened to the public in 1947 and two years later was dedicated to the soldiers who fought in World War II. The park includes a baseball field and basketball courts as well as playground equipment and a fieldhouse. The large athletic field adjacent to the baseball diamond provides ample room for soccer games and long-distance Frisbee throws on those long summer days.
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Most of West Chatham's housing stock consists of one- and two-story homes, traditional brick bungalows and split-levels as well as some three-flats. Many of the bungalows are well-kept and have modest green lawns out front with towering trees edging the property. These West Chatham homes can cost as much as $270,000 for a three- or four-bedroom place, but there are also plenty of options in the low $100,000s. In addition to affordable houses, the neighborhood features many of the amenities that have made Chicago's north side communities so attractive to both renters and homebuyers -- things like access to public transportation and the Dan Ryan Expressway, and close proximity to recreation and entertainment have made West Chatham an appealing choice for relocation. The majority of West Chatham's multi-unit housing is on Stewart Avenue, 77th Street and Vincennes Avenue. These include older townhomes and low-rise condos with some new-construction modern condominiums planned that will be priced at around $180,000. But for the existing residential buildings, you're looking at prices between $60,000 and $150,000 for a two- or three-bedroom unit.
Dining in West Chatham is a simple and inexpensive affair. No jacket required.
Lucky for West Chatham residents, Reggio's Pizza (120 W 87th St, 773-651-7777 and 340 W 83rd St, 773-488-1411) has two locations in the neighborhood. This family-owned operation has been delivering its signature butter-crust pizza to hungry Chicagoans since 1972. The butter-crust isn't the only special thing about Reggio's, it is also the only African-American owned pizza franchise in the country. Around here that's no big deal as West Chatham and Chatham proper (to the east) are home to many African American owned businesses and restaurants. But never mind the particulars, the pizza is the thing that catches everyone's attention. Whether you order the thin crust or the deep dish, Reggio's has a distinct flavor that keeps us coming back for more. Fried fish, chicken wings, Italian beef and sausage are also available if you're in the mood for something beside pizza. Reggio's does mostly takeout and delivery, but there are a few chairs and benches at some locations where customers are welcome to eat in. And a little side note: Reggio's moved into the frozen pizza market in 1982, so when you're at Jewel or Dominick's make sure you stock up.
Harold's Chicken Shack (100 W 87th St, 773-224-3314) is as much a part of Chicago's south side culture as the blues. Even chart-topping hip-hop star Kanye West has name-checked Harold's on his records. This favorite of finger-licking good chicken fans was founded in 1950 by Harold Pierce, one of Chicago's many successful black entrepreneurs. In addition to his West Chatham location, Harold's has dozens of Chicago stores, mostly on the south side, but has since expanded to Minneapolis and Detroit. This institution of south side cuisine sells chicken by the half or quarter, drizzling with hot sauce (which will also soak your fries so watch out) and comes with two slices of white bread which you can use to make a "fry sandwich," which should satisfy your carb intake for the week. The decor may not be much, just your typical fast food stylings but the chicken is what folks come for, and what makes a trip to Harold's such an enjoyable (and appetizing) experience.
On a Friday or Saturday night, we join the masses of Chicagoans heading out in search of a little evening entertainment. For West Chatham residents a movie might be just the ticket. West Chatham is home to I.C.E. Chatham 14 (210 W 87th St, 773-783-8711). This 14-screen theater complex offers all the latest Hollywood releases. Enjoy the air conditioning on a hot summer day and don't forget to hit up the concessions for popcorn and candy before you sit down.
West Chatham has many transportation choices for cruising in, around, or out of the neighborhood, including the busiest transportation corridor in the city on 79th Street.
Running parallel to each other, the CTA Red Line train and the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) form the eastern border of the neighborhood, making travel in and out of West Chatham hassle-free. The highway is convenient for commuters going to and from work, of course, but we also find it's a quick way to get out of town for a weekend trip or vacation. The Red Line has two stops in West Chatham, one at 79th Street and another at 87th Street. Hop on for a trip downtown to Navy Pier or to the magnificent row of shops on Michigan Avenue. While many prefer to take the "El" (the afore-mentioned elevated train system), there are several CTA bus routes that also operate in the neighborhood. The #29 Lafayette Avenue bus is a great way to get north for classes at Kennedy King College in the neighboring Englewood community. Catch the #24 Wentworth Avenue bus north to US Cellular Field for a White Sox game or to sample some of the best restaurants Chinatown has to offer. The 79th Street corridor, which runs through West Chatham, is the busiest transportation passage in the city. For points east and west, West Chatham neighborhood residents use either the 79th or 87th Street bus to hook up with the Red Line train for continuing trips to the downtown Chicago Loop. For the most part, driving is no problem in West Chatham, but with a lot of industrial activity in the southern section of the neighborhood, and the train line and expressway running through the length of the community, it may not be the best area for walking or bike riding.
West Chatham is a small neighborhood with limited educational facilities, however, in addition to the following list, you can find out what schools are nearby (hint: there are a ton in Chatham proper) and in surrounding Chicago areas by checking out our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Simeon Career Academy HS 8147 S Vincennes Ave - (773) 535-3200
Basic NeedsWe've compiled a list of several West Chatham places that cover the bases of all your essential needs, from where to workout to where to get your groceries. Transportation Chicago Transit Authority (888) 968-7282
CTA - www.transitchicago.com
Jewel-Osco 101 W 87th St - (773) 487-8700
Bally Total Fitness 112 W 87th St Ste N - (773) 994-0203
West Chatham Park 8223 S Princeton Ave 312-747-6998
Memorial Playlot Park 149 W 73rd St 312-742-PLAY
I.C.E. Chatham 14 210 W 87th St 773-783-8711
Reality Room 200 W 83rd St 773-783-7560
Time-Out Lounge 8216 S Vincennes Ave 773-224-8430
Bismarck Submarine 343 W 79th St 773-483-3232
Fred & Jack's Drive Inn 241 W 76th St 773-783-9607
Geneo's Pizza 8112 S Vincennes Ave 773-224-7941
Wilson Drive-In 7501 S Vincennes Ave 773-651-4022
Harold's Chicken Shack 100 W 87th St 773-224-3314
Reggio's Pizza 120 W 87th St 773-651-7777; 340 W 83rd St, 773-488-1411
Grand Chinese Kitchen 100 W 87th St 773-873-8282
Our neighborhoods guide is meant to give potential homebuyers a general overview of what every Chicago neighborhood has to offer and what makes it unique from the rest, and believe us, no two neighborhoods are the same! Searching for a new home isn't just about finding that prefect condo or house, making sure the setting fits your style and needs is just as important. And whether West Chatham neighborhood is your ideal locale to settle down, or you've found the scene here just isn't your cup of tea, we're here to help you find the right place to make sure your home purchase a is total success. From the type of restaurants to the outdoor venues to the local schools, every detail is an essential factor in what makes a property of dream home. By utilizing our comprehensive accounts of each community, such as this one for West Chatham, we hope to provide a detailed picture of not only the residential real estate available in the area, but also the additional features of the neighborhood. A quick glance and you'll know exactly what shopping, dining, entertainment and resources are in West Chatham, all without ever having to go anywhere.