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Community area in Chicago
Community area in Illinois, United States
Community Area 68 - Englewood
The intersection of 63rd and Halsted, looking south. The Halsted 'L' station can be seen crossing Halsted in the distance. Kennedy-King College occupies the buildings on the left of the photo. The building on the right burned in 2014.
Englewood is one of the 77 official community areas in Chicago, Illinois, United States. At its peak population in 1960, over 97,000 people lived in its approximately 3 square miles (7.8 km2), but the neighborhood's population has since dropped dramatically. In 2000, it had a population of approximately 40,000 inhabitants, and the 2010 census indicated that its population has further declined to approximately 30,000. Englewood is bordered by Garfield Boulevard to the north, 75th Street to the south, Racine Avenue to the west, and an irregular border that wends along the Metra Railroad Tracks to the east. On the west lies West Englewood, which is generally lumped in with Englewood by Chicagoans. It is located on the south side of Chicago.
Before 1850, Englewood was an oak forest with much swampland. In 1852 several railroad lines crossed at what became known as Junction Grove, stimulating the beginning of what we know today as Englewood. The Union Stock Yard provided employment to early residents. In 1868 Henry B. Lewis, a wool merchant in the Loop and Board of Education member, suggested a new name from his association with Englewood, New Jersey. In 1865 Junction Grove was annexed to the Town of Lake and to Chicago in 1889. The World's Columbian Exposition at nearby Jackson Park in 1893 led to real estate speculation and expansion of the community.
The Englewood community was largely defined by the Englewood Shopping Center at 63rd & Halsted, a large pedestrian mall. The City, social services, and mall management worked with community leaders and groups to integrate the mall with the community. The goal was to make the mall a vital part of the community, and a central part of everyday life. It was the site of numerous community events, parades, outdoor concerts, live radio broadcasts and the like. This was spearheaded by the Englewood Business Men's Association and its director, Richard Drew. Mr. Drew died in 1978, and with his passing the Association lost its community focus. The Center subsequently lost its major anchor tenants, including Sears Roebuck, and became a collection of smaller merchants.
In 1999, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a $256 million revitalization plan for the area. The keystone of the program is the relocation of Kennedy-King College to the former site of the Englewood Shopping Center. Shortly thereafter the city began an aggressive buyout and relocation program for mall merchants. The campus includes the Washburne Culinary Institute. Groundbreaking for the new, 40-acre (16 ha) campus occurred on November 9, 2005, and it opened in 2007.
Digital images of Englewood can be found in Explore Chicago Collections, a digital repository made available by Chicago Collections archives, libraries and other cultural institutions in the city.
Englewood is also known as Chicago's murder capital, with more homicides being committed there than in any other neighborhood in the city. Almost daily shootings occur in Englewood, with an average of around 70 homicides per year.
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In 2000, Englewood had a poverty rate of 44%, which was substantially higher than the overall poverty rate in Chicago of 20%.
Based on census data collected by the city of Chicago in 2008-2012, the poverty rate for Englewood is 46.6% of households below poverty and 28% of people 16 years of age and older are unemployed.
In 1960 Englewood had 67,216 African American residents who made up about 69% of its population. At the time most African Americans resided around 63rd Street. At the time the median income of Englewood was $5,579 ($48,215.36 according to inflation).
By 1980, the total population was 62,069, a loss of about 30,000 people in two decades; 99% of the people were black, and the white population was down to 818. Edward McClelland of NBC Chicago stated "Not even ethnic cleansing in the Balkans achieved the levels of turnover that white flight in Chicago did."
^"New Kennedy-King College". Public Building Commission of Chicago. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013. "Mayor Daley cut the ribbon to open Kennedy King College on July 18, 2007."
^Lucy Theodate Holmes, passport application, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-IMarch 31, 1925; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1490, 2740 rolls); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C.