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West Chesterfield
Real Estate and Neighborhood Information

West Chesterfield Overview

West Chesterfield is a small, tight-knit south side community near Chicago State University. The neighborhood boomed after the Illinois Central railroad began operation nearby over 100 years ago, and it has maintained strong ties to the local entrepreneurial business community ever since. West Chesterfield also has a proud tradition of working hard and maintaining safe and stable surroundings for its residents. As the population ages, the neighborhood is continually innovating to maintain its vitality and strength.

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West Chesterfield is a family-oriented neighborhood of small bungalows, ranches and brick two-flats. The lots along the residential streets typically yield small yards in front and back, flanked by a side driveway that leads to a garage behind the house. While some of the properties are better maintained than others, the homes in West Chesterfield tend to be surrounded by trim lawns with plenty of greenery and wide sidewalks. The housing styles vary from house to the house with designs from the early and mid 1900s represented in addition to newer models bringing the neighborhood into the 21st century.

The close-knit community has developed over generations and many homeowners have watched their children grow up here. Students at nearby Chicago State University live in the neighborhood, as well, which has helped to offset the increasing age of West Chesterfield.
The smaller neighborhood of West Chesterfield straddles the two larger community areas of Chatham and Roseland/Rosemoor. Although the residential real estate market throughout this section of town is relatively similar, West Chesterfield encompasses a combination of property values that reflect those of the surrounding regions. The average sales price for a three-bedroom single-family detached home in West Chesterfield is around $200,000, with some properties selling for as much as $635,000. Larger houses in the neighborhood typically sell for a little over $300,000, on average, but again, there is a span in prices that goes up to the high $800,000s and drops below $100,000—for something that needs a great deal of work to be habitable.

As for multi-unit housing, the options in West Chesterfield include mostly townhomes, half-duplexes, and low-rise and vintage courtyard condominium buildings. The average sales price for a one- or two-bedroom unit is about $137,000, but some end up selling for somewhere in the mid $200,000s. New construction condos are also going up in the area with higher price tags (several in the $300,000s) but most of these units include a garage parking spot.


West Chesterfield History

Once a swampy area known as Mud Lake—more popular with hunters than humans looking for habitation—West Chesterfield later developed into a small agrarian community on the outskirts of the city in the mid 1800s. Industrial development started slowly and it wasn’t until the turn of the century, when steel mills started crowding the lakefront, that European immigrants began settling in the area to fill the open jobs.

By the early 1900s, West Chesterfield had a population of just 1,800, but the development of the nearby Illinois Central railroad yard caused a bump in growth. The 1920s brought the most dramatic increase as new residents, primarily European immigrants from Scandinavia and Austria, as well as Irish immigrants, moved into the neighborhood, causing the population to more than triple in the decade that spanned the 1920s. Housing, at the time, mostly consisted of small frame and brick dwellings and two-flat homes, many of which are still standing today.

As with many other Chicago neighborhoods, racial transition occurred in West Chesterfield quite rapidly. In 1950 the African American population of Chesterfield was less than 1 percent, but by 1960 it had jumped to 63 percent. Although there were some rough periods of cultural clashing, steered by hate talk and even a few physical attacks on African American property, the area did not see the extreme violence that scarred other nearby neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side. Some credit the community organizations and churches in West Chesterfield for helping the neighborhood to progress in a positive direction during a time of turmoil.
In the 1950s, middle-class African American families came to the area in huge numbers, drawn to the good schools, community organization, and abundance of employment. The demographic shift and steady labor base attracted several large businesses to the area, including Johnson Products (the company responsible for Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen) and several successful banks.

In the 1990s, West Chesterfield saw increasing problems due to an aging population and gang-related crime. Luckily, community leaders and residents have worked together to devote time and energy to a number of revitalization projects designed to ensure that today it remains a comfortably solid middle-class neighborhood and a good place to raise a family.

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Dream Town Knows West Chesterfield

As Chicago neighborhood experts, Dream Town has successfully sold properties in West Chesterfield. 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 West Chesterfield home. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Dream Town drives more sales than any other Chicago brokerage.

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The Sights of West Chesterfield

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Schools In The West Chesterfield Area

See grade levels, address, and scores for schools in the West Chesterfield area.

School Type Grade Rating

Avalon Park Elementary School

8045 South Kenwood Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

Bennett Elementary School

10115 South Prairie Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
3

Kipling Elementary School

9351 South Lowe Ave - public

Elementary - Middle K-8
5

Neil Elementary School

8555 South Michigan Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
1

Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center

8101 South La Salle St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
10

St Helena Of The Cross

10115 South Parnell Avenue - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

Leo Catholic High School

7901 South Sangamon Street - private

High 9-12
NR

Resurrection Lutheran School

9349 South Wentworth Avenue - private

Preschool - Elementary PK-6
NR

Evangelical Christian School

9130 South Vincennes Avenue - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

CICS Longwood

1309 W. 95th Street - charter

Elementary - High 3-12
3

Milburn Alternative School

321 East 84th St - public

Middle - High 7-12
NR

Pnuema Institute

400 West 76th Street - private

High 9-11
NR

Cook Elementary School

8150 South Bishop St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

Deneen Elementary School

7240 South Wabash Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

Hirsch Metropolitan High School

7740 South Ingleside Ave - public

High 9-12
1

Tanner Elementary School

7350 South Evans Ave - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

Ryder Elementary Math & Sci Spec School

8716 South Wallace St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
2

Jackson M Elementary School

917 West 88th St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
1

Westcott Elementary School

409 West 80th St - public

Preschool - Middle PK-8
1

St. John de la Salle School

10212 S. Vernon - private

Preschool - Middle PK-8
NR

School data provided by GreatSchools.School service boundaries are intended to be used as reference only. To verify enrollment eligibility for a property, contact the school directly. GreatSchools Ratings provided by GreatSchools.org.

Surrounding Neighborhoods

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