Washington Park Neighborhood Tour


Irish and German railroad and meatpacking workers settled here in the 1860s followed by German Jews in the 1890s. The neighborhood's direct transportation routes to downtown inspired wealthy white Chicagoans to build large mansions along the neighborhood's wide boulevards. From the beginning of the Great Migration into the 1940s, African Americans pushed southward from Bronzeville and clashed with white property owners who resisted racial integration. By 1930, Washington Park was over 90 percent black, and real estate brokers divided much of the neighborhood's housing stock into kitchenettes. This community used the park itself to engage in leisure activities and for open-air political meetings.

Important sites in Washington Park include:

*Operation PUSH
*Musicians Union Local 208
*Washington Park
*Jesse Binga home
*Hansberry House
*Woodlawn A.M.E. Church
*White City/Park City Bowl and Roller Rink
*UPWA Union Hall

Labor Trail

The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.

We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.

Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at www.labortrail.org.

More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at: www.workingclassstudies.org

The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle

Project Director:
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Advisors:
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University

Administrative Director:
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Assistants:
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago

Web Design:
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer