East Garfield Park, Chicago IL
Highlighted by its namesake landmark, East Garfield Park is an area of Chicago which has seen a wide variety of change throughout its existence. Nowhere near as flashy as the eastern communities that surround it like River West, it nonetheless is an important Chicago neighborhood. Once known as a dangerous area in the city, the area has been slowly seeing new development and renovation due to its close proximity to the 290 expressway as well as ample public transportation. East Garfield Park looks to become one of the next waves of a redeveloped and gentrified area of Chicago. Time will tell if the district loses some of its culture and uniqueness.
East Garfield Park’s early inhabitants were almost exclusively of Irish and German descent soon joined by other European immigrants who moved into the city in the 1930s. While the area was often neglected in earlier times, it did house some factories which appealed to the new residents to the area. As time has passed, so has the ethnic makeup of East Garfield Park. Now almost exclusively inhabited by African Americans, the city, as previously noted is seeing a small percentage of new ethnicities within its borders which seem intent on revitalizing and unleashing the neighborhoods untapped potential.
While the area has unfortunately been plagued by crime and illegal activities, there is hope for a renovation of sorts to happen in the area. A series of unfortunate events caused a decline in the quality of housing, and soon the neighborhood was overrun with drugs and even prostitution. As the new century has come upon us, crime is indeed down as a new focus has been put on the area. As such, there are still things to see and do in the area, and we expect further developments to revitalize East Garfield Park.
Visitors to the area should seek out the Garfield Park Conservatory for some exposure to natural beauty. The Conservatory spans almost 5 acres of land and houses one of the most massive greenhouses in the United States. Highlighting continual plant-based exhibits and featuring greenery from around the world, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a must for lovers of mother nature’s most exquisite beauty.