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Woodlawn, on Chicago’s lakefront eight miles south of the Loop, is a predominately mixed-income African-American neighborhood that for years was seen as a “community of last resort,” despite its prime location just south of the University of Chicago.

But after years of disinvestment, residents have joined together to create a more visually stimulating community. One of its main drags, 63rd Street, now hosts new homes and businesses. Along the streets are bike trails; alleys are well-lit and paved; and where there were once vacant lots, neighborhood gardens now provide residents with fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as colorful flowers. Through the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the dilapidated Grove Parc housing development is being transformed in Woodlawn Park, which will feature more appealing rental housing for people of modest means. Meanwhile, through the Children's Promise Community with the University of Chicago, Woodlawns schools are becoming better and stronger.

In the last decade, local community organizations, including the Network of Woodlawn - LISC's partner agency - have been instrumental in building affordable housing, creating health and safety programs and encouraging business development on 63rd Street.

See the neighborhood's 2005 Quality-of-Life Plan.

Woodlawn community area


Population (2010) 26,853 down 3.2% from 2000
Racial/ethnic makeup (2010) 91% African American

down from 95% in 2000


Total occupied units (2010) 9,884 down 5.8% from 2000
Owner occupied units (2010) 2,237 up 8.6% from 2000


Median household income (2010) $25,454 up 22.9% since 2000
Percentage above $50,000 (2010) 24% 12% above $75,000
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Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.

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