On login you agree to our terms of service.
By joining you agree to our terms of service.
The heart of the south side of Chicago, Gresham is a neighborhood in transition with a bright future ahead and a rich history behind it. Community groups and public parks are on the front lines of revitalization. Providing a place for Gresham residents of all ages to participate in sports and be active, the neighborhood parks offer numerous programs and even a 12-lane bowling alley – to cover every recreational interest. Adult social clubs, teen groups and day camps for kids all encourage community bonding and are a great way to meet the neighbors. Some of the park facility programs focus on personal fitness with aquatic exercise classes and workout centers, but mostly the Chicago Park District works to supply places where Gresham residents can hangout and have fun with fellow community members.
Gresham is the home to St. Sabina Church headed up by Reverend Pfleger, who has spearheaded initiatives to revitalize the area. As a driving force in improving Gresham’s outward appearance, both the church and Reverend Pfleger have been a crucial part of the neighborhood’s recent transformation. This includes the current construction of one of the biggest single-family home developments in the city at West 87th Street and Parnell Avenue. Along the neighborhood’s other blocks sit cute brick bungalows, simple one- or two-story homes with front porches, raised ranches, duplexes, and some mid-rise residential buildings. Many Gresham properties have small yards with private fences, and a decent number of trees and greenery surround the lots.
You can buy a two-bedroom condo or townhome in Gresham for as low as $25,000 if you shop around, but the average sales price is closer to $60,000. Other townhouses in the neighborhood that are well-kept or offer more space are priced in the upper $100,000s. Detached single-family homes also range in price with some traditional frame houses listed for $50,000 or $60,000 and other larger two-stories and new constructions costing as much as $350,000.
Originally, the neighborhood of Gresham (also known as Auburn Gresham) was a part of Lake Township with was a large community area that ran between 39th and 87th streets, and Crawford Avenue and State Street. With the opening of the Union Stockyard in 1865, the area’s population exploded and the local government was unable to provide residents with basic infrastructure and services. As a result, Lake Township was incorporated into the city of Chicago in 1889.
The original inhabitants of the area were small-time farmers from Holland and Germany who used the swampy terrain to produce enough crops to support themselves and their families while selling the surplus at local markets. However, it was a burgeoning railroad business that brought a change to the rural setting. Irish workers came to the Gresham neighborhood in the mid 1900s as did many other European immigrants from Italy, France, Poland and Sweden who also migrated to Chicago during this time. By the early 20th century, Gresham was a solid blue-collar community of construction and stockyard workers, police and firefighters.
The establishment of street cars throughout the south side made it very convenient for people to get to and from work in nearby neighborhoods. More and more of the local labor force moved to the area and the population of Gresham grew from around 19,000 in 1920 to over 57,000 by 1930. Gresham survived the Great Depression and World War II without suffering any great loss in population, but in the 1950s the neighborhoods demographics would begin to shift. Many African Americans from the region commonly referred to as the 'Black Belt' began to move into Gresham. The Black Belt was an area south of downtown Chicago which stretched along State Street from 22nd Street to 31st Street. Overcrowding in this small strip forced residents to seek housing elsewhere, many of them migrating further south to Gresham. To combat discrimination and ease racial tensions spurred by the influx of African American families, the Organization of Southwest Communities was formed with the goal of maintaining property value as well as the peace among the diverse group of community members.
With the 1960s came the Civil Rights Movement and national attention to racial issues, and despite the best efforts of local community organizations the power of the times swept through Gresham, as it did in many south side Chicago neighborhoods. Slowly, the black population grew, while the white population shrank with many white families moving to the suburbs. Today, Gresham is a Chicago neighborhood experiencing a significant resurgence and the cornerstone of this revival is St. Sabina Church. Under the leadership of Reverend Michael Pfleger the church has worked hard to transform Gresham’s abandoned buildings and empty storefronts into flourishing businesses with an interest in investing in the future of the overall community.
As Chicago neighborhood experts, Dream Town has successfully sold properties in Gresham. Dream Town holds a well-earned reputation for its impressive sales volume and dedication to personal, attentive service. Benefit from the Dream Town advantage when selling your Gresham home. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Dream Town drives more sales than any other Chicago brokerage.
Get A Trends Report Delivered To Your Inbox MonthlySend Me Gresham Trends