Grand Boulevard

Located 6 Miles South of The Loop.

Neighborhoods include: Bronzeville
Zip Codes Include: 60653, 60615, 60609

Grand Boulevard is located on the South Side. The boulevard from which the community area takes its name now bears the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The area is bounded by 39th to the north, 51st Street to the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the east, and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad tracks to the west.

This is one of the two community areas that encompass the Bronzeville neighborhood, with the other being Douglas. Grand Boulevard also includes the Washington Park Court District neighborhood that was declared a Chicago Landmark on October 2, 1991.

Bronzeville is a neighborhood located in the Douglas and Grand Boulevard community areas on the South Side around the Illinois Institute of Technology and Illinois College of Optometry.

In the early 20th century, was known as the “Black Metropolis,” one of the nation’s most significant landmarks of African-American urban history. Between 1910 and 1920, during the peak of the “Great Migration,” the population of the area increased dramatically when thousands of African Americans escaped the oppression of the South and emigrated to Chicago in search of industrial jobs. The Wabash YMCA is considered the first African-American Y in the U.S It continues as a center today due to the continued support of many of the Black churches in the area. The Wabash YMCA is widely credited as the birthplace of what would later become Black History Month, although this has also been attributed to the noted black historian John.

Noted people associated with the development of the area include: Andrew “Rube” Foster, founder of the Negro National Baseball League; Ida B. Wells, a civil rights activist, journalist and co-organizer of the NAACP; Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, artist, author, and one of the co-founders of the DuSable Museum of African American History; Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman pilot; Gwendolyn Brooks, famous author and first African-American recipient of the Pulitzer Prize; actress Marla Gibbs, legendary singers Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls, and Louis Armstrong, the legendary trumpet player and bandleader who performed at many of the area’s night clubs. The neighborhood contains the Chicago Landmark Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District.

47th Street was and remains the hub of the Bronzeville neighborhood. In the early 21st century, it has started to regain some of its former glory. Gone for good is the Regal Theater (demolished in 1973), where many great performers took the stage.

From the 1940s and 1960s, high-rise public housing projects were constructed in the area, which were managed by the Chicago Housing Authority. The largest complex was the Robert Taylor Homes, which were beset with social problems exacerbated by poverty and poor design. These were demolished in the late 1990s and early 21st century.


Grand Boulevard is accessible via the Green and Red lines of the Chicago Transit Authority, as well as the Metra Electric District Main Line. In 2011 a new Metra station, Jones/Bronzeville Station, opened to serve the neighborhood on the Rock Island and planned SouthEast Service.


Population (2010)

• Total 21,929
• Density 13,000/sq mi (4,900/km2)

Demographics (2010)

• White 1.78%
• Black 94.14%
• Hispanic 1.8%
• Asian 0.26%
• Other 2.01%

Neighborhood Links

Bronzeville Area Residents’ and Commerce Council
• 3rd Ward & Alderman
• 4th Ward & Alderman