Belmont Cragin is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located on the Northwest Side of the City of Chicago, Illinois. The first business to open in Belmont Cragin was a saloon opened by George Merrill sometime after , when he settled with his family at the intersection of Armitage and Grand Avenues. Operating the saloon out of his home, Merrill catered to truck farmers carrying produce over the plank road to the city. The corner, named Whiskey Point, prompted many colorful and romanticized legends but attracted few permanent residents. Paul Railroad built a station at Leclaire Avenue to accommodate all the employees.
In the s a retail shopping district began to develop along Belmont Avenue, known as Belmont Central. Children's playgrounds were built.
Present-day Riis Park began life as a golf course, and later became a park designed by Jan Jenssen, famed national park designer. The Chicago Transit Authority in the s extended its Belmont Street electric bus service beyond Central, transporting new patrons into the shopping district.
Gas buses arrived in the s. A addition of a nearby parking garage continued to contribute to business prosperity but the area had seen its days since the opening of the Brickyard Mall.
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In Marchthe opening of the Brickyard Shopping Mall on the former site of the Carey Brickyard property at Narragansett and Diversey added new vitality to the community, drawing city and suburban shoppers away from Belmont Central shopping district, Six Corners, suburbs and downtown.
The original Brickyard Mall was an enclosed three-level building but was demolished in to pave way for big box stores including Target and Lowe's, along with the strip mall making it more automobile friendly rather than pedestrian friendly.
Jewel Osco was originally in the location of Target in the old mall floor plan that once included Montgomery Ward and JC Penny's department stores and K-mart. Cragin Department Store, located on the block of West Armitage, was a family-owned clothing and shoe store until the s.
Hawthorn Melody Dairy was located at Grand and Laramie. Reda's Liquors and Lizzi's House of Pizza were also located in the area. Dominick's grocery store was located on Central Ave.
Tony's grocery store now anchors this location.
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Belmont Cragin's overall population grew by more than 6 percent in the s and 37 percent in the s. The Hispanic population grew from 3, in to 16, in By the census the area was 65 percent Hispanic, joining the Polish immigrants and businesses who had come to the area earlier.
A number of young middle-class professionals joined blue-collar laborers in the area. Residents formed an active coalition called the Northwest Neighborhood Federation to address increases in crime, gangs, and school overpopulation. ByHall Printing and other plants had closed their doors.
The area experienced a drop in manufacturing employment and a decline in retail activity during the s. Concerns over unemployment and an increasing poverty level have led residents to organize a home reinvestment campaign and to study ways of reviving the commercial climate in the area.
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Chicago Public Schools operates district public schools. The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates many parish churs, grade schools and St. Patrick's high school within the district.
It first opened in a storefront inwith a permanent library opening on November 1, Narragansett Ave. The Belmont Cragin community has supported the Democratic Party in the past two presidential elections by large margins.
In the presidential electionBelmont Cragin cast 15, votes for Hillary Clinton and cast 2, votes for Donald Trump From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The QLP represents the insight of over residents, business owners, students, parents, elected officials, and community stakeholders. Many of these assets still define our community, but the neighborhood has also changed, bringing challenges to maintain the quality-of-life that makes Belmont Cragin so attractive-and also new opportunities to build a stronger, more vibrant community.
Belmont Cragin was annexed into Chicago in and grew over the next decades as factories and warehouses were built along the Northwestern railroad line and Grand Avenue.
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Bythe neighborhood had more than 60, residents, about a third foreign-born, including Irish, Polish and Italian workers. Continued growth after WWII included a new wave of. The post-war years also saw the growth of commercial corridors along Diversey, Belmont, Fullerton, Central and Cicero avenues.
As housing and commercial activity grew in Belmont Cragin, so did the other elements that make a great community. We have a solid network of public schools, including nearly a dozen elementary schools rated as a 1 by Chicago Public Schools.
Riis Park and Hanson Park o er open space and opportunity for more recreational amenities. Our school educates about students from grades PreK through 8th grade including English language learners and students with disabilities Youre seeing this map in complete privacy.
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