Union Row Neighborhood Tour


Audio of Historian Leon Fink Introducing the Labor Trail and Leading a Tour of Union Row

Fink describes Chicago's history of trades unions, industrial unions, international unionism, and labor politics, as it is inscribed in Union Row. Union Park, named in honor of the Federal Union in 1853 was the centerpiece of a wealthy neighborhood on the edge of the city. After the 1871 Chicago Fire, working-class residents began to visit the park and move into the community. By 1930 many of the old homes made up "Union Row," the home of Chicago's labor movement. Today, unions remain along Ashland Avenue but working-class residents face pressure from increased housing costs.

Important sites in Union Row include:

*First Baptist Congregational Church
*Statue of Carter Harrison
*R. C. Wieboldt Department Store Headquarters
*Plumbers Union Hall
*United Electrical Workers
*Painters District Council No. 14
*Haymarket Statue in Police Training Academy
*New headquarters of the Chicago Federation of Labor
*UFCW 546 Hall (originally UFCW 100)
*Milk Wagon Drivers Union, Local 753
*Teamster City
*UNITE! 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