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Quad Communities

The Mid-South Side is the historic location of Chicago’s “Black Metropolis,” an economically integrated neighborhood that was the epicenter of African-American social and cultural life.

Known as Bronzeville since 1930, this neighborhood was home to many black-owned businesses, property owners and community leaders, as well as more than 500 churches. But starting in 1941 with the construction of the Ida B. Wells public housing low-rises, Bronzeville became the site of large-scale public housing development. In addition to four separate complexes on the east side of the community, the Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens along State Street housed 20,000 residents.

The once-overcrowded neighborhood has been losing population for the past four decades as the public housing complexes became severely deteriorated and middle-class residents moved to other areas. Between 1960 and 2000, more than 119,000 residents left the Douglas, Grand Boulevard, North Kenwood and Oakland community areas, bringing the population to 79,000. In 2000, 38 percent of households were below the poverty level, while 37 percent had an income above $35,000. About one-fourth of housing is owner-occupied.

Today the entire Mid South Side is undergoing rapid redevelopment as the Chicago Housing Authority implements its “Transformation” plan to replace obsolete housing with mixed-income developments. A $140 million development called Lake Park Crescent was developed the lake and  the CHA's Ida B. Wells, Madden Park and Washington Park Homes have been replaced with mixed-income housing.

The neighborhood retains a thriving and committed black middle-class, has many small-scale entrepreneurs and developers, and is attracting new housing and commercial development. Homeowners are rehabbing historic greystones and rowhouses throughout the area.

Two key institutional neighbors are the University of Chicago, which has recently expanded its security patrols into the Mid-South area, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. Both have used their Employer Assisted Housing programs to encourage staff and faculty to live nearby.

Quad Communities Development Corporation, the lead neighborhood agency, has played a key role in creating resident-led neighborhood plans and in implementing recommended projects. See QCDC's 2005 Quality-of-Life Plan.


Population (2010) 77,221 down 4% since 2000
Racial/ethnic makeup (2010) 91% African American, 6% white  


Total occupied units (2010) 31,216 down 4% from 2000
Owner occupied units (2010) 6,384 up 12% from 2000


Median household income (2010) $30,588 up 21% from 2000
Percentage above $50,000 (2010) 30% 17% above $75,000
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Note to Small Biz: Loans Are Available
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Quad at 10, Looking Forward and Back
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Students march to encourage adults to register through connection with Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools
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Project Maps South Side Health and Vitality
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U of C, South Side NCPs Partner on ‘Grand Rounds’
Community Grand Rounds program brought a broader definition of health issues to a broad range of the community
Renewed Funding--and New Achievements--for Elev8
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Summer Program Blends Literacy Skills With Fun
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Through News Literacy Project, Elev8 Students Develop Critical Eye
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Elev8 Students Go To Washington
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Elev8 School-Based Health Centers Boost Attendance, Academic Achievement
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Students to Springfield: More $ for Health Services
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Reavis Students Showcase Afterschool Talents
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Reavis Students Learn About Healthy Eating
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