Tucked away on Chicago's southwest side, Clearing offers quiet tree-lined streets and single-family homes with picket fences and green yards. Providing ample indoor (and outdoor) living space in an urban setting, the Clearing neighborhood offers an ideal locale to start and raise a family. Several community parks create a recreation haven for area residents to enjoy fresh air and get in some exercise. Sports leagues are always a fun way to meet people and practice your favorite sport, or if you prefer to go it alone, you can workout at the neighborhood fitness facilities in the Hale Park field house. Clearing's stretch of delicious dining options on 63rd Street covers all the bases with everything from charming pastry shops to Polish buffets to the must-have neighborhood pizza delivery joint. And that's not all!
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The neighborhood of Clearing, on Chicago’s far southwest side, was founded in 1907 and officially annexed to Chicago in 1915 as the rising population necessitated the structured services of the city. The community was the designated area where farm goods were 'cleared' (delivered) through the airport and railroad yards and it was labeled accordingly, that’s how we get the name 'Clearing.'
Dutch and German immigrants settled Clearing in the mid-19th Century. However, the area’s most affluent landholder and resident was John Wentworth, a U.S. Senator and former mayor of Chicago. Wentworth had a home on the corner of what is now Harlem Avenue and 55th Street, in addition to 4,700 acres of sprawling farmland and undeveloped terrain that included areas known today as Clearing, Summit, and Garfield Ridge.
In 1915, eighteen industries were operating in the Clearing Industrial District, but that number would more than quadruple by 1928. Constructed between 1926 and 1927, Chicago’s Midway Airport, named in honor the battle at the Pacific island of Midway in World War II, was an added addition to the growth of the Clearing area and its surrounding communities. At first, the airfield maintained four landing strips, but it was later expanded with 12 more runways by 1941.
Clearing’s postwar economic and residential boom spanned three decades as its population grew from about 6,000 in 1940 to nearly 25,000 in 1970. Starting in the mid-1970s, the area suffered an economic setback that stunted the community’s growth and endured until 1984. More than half of the companies in the Clearing neighborhood relocated to other sites and thousands of jobs were lost. In 1985, with the modernization and expansion of Midway Airport, the Clearing neighborhood has slowly regained some of its former economic stability and remains a pleasant place to purchase a home and raise a family.