Austin - Our Home Neigborhood



The Austin neighborhood, located on the far west side of the city of Chicago, has the largest population of the city's 77 officially defined community areas. Austin's eastern boundary is the Belt Railway located just east of Cicero Avenue. Its northernmost border is the Milwaukee District/West Line. Its southernmost border is at Roosevelt Road from the Belt Railway west to Austin Boulevard. The northernmost portion, north of North Avenue, extends west to Harlem Avenue, abutting Elmwood Park. Other suburbs bordering Austin are Cicero and Oak Park. Also nearby is Berwyn.


Demographics and History

Austin was a predominantly white neighborhood until the late 1960s (99.83% white in the 1960 census). It faced numerous infrastructure problems before the arrival of black residents. White residents of Austin in the early 1960s were against leaving their neighborhood for the suburbs, but a combination of events occurred in the years afterward changed that.  Residents felt the need to move elsewhere because of disinvestment, mortgage redlining. As the suburbs gradually became better supported through an increased transportation systems many whites and well to do blacks left the city for the suburbs.


Current, Emerging, and Critical Westside Needs

In 2015, the Chicago Police Department recorded 50 homicides in the Austin neighborhood, making the area the highest in homicide-related incidents in Chicago at that time. By the Chicago Tribune (Crime in Chicago land Page) the Austin neighborhood ranked 11th out of 77 Community areas in Chicago in violent crime, 25th among Chicago community areas in property crimes, and 5th out of 100 for quality of life crimes. The neighborhood is part of Chicago's West Side which consists of Austin, West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, North Lawndale and Near West Side.

Additional West Side Service Areas


North Lawndale

Once part of Cicero Township in 1869, the eastern section of North Lawndale to Pulaski Road was annexed to Chicago by an act of the state legislature. Thereafter, streets were platted and drainage ditches were installed between Western (2400 west) and Pulaski Road (4000 west). The name "Lawndale" was supplied by Millard and Decker, a real estate firm which subdivided the area in 1870. In 1871, after the Great Chicago Fire, the McCormick Reaper Company (later International Harvester) constructed and occupied a new large plant in the South Lawndale neighborhood. As a result, many plant workers moved to eastern North Lawndale. The remaining area west of Crawford Avenue was annexed in 1889 by a resolution of the Cook County Commissioners.


East Garfield Park

East Garfield Park (27) is a community area on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, west of the Loop. Population 20,000.  Taking its name from the large urban park, Garfield Park, the neighborhood is bordered by Franklin Boulevard on the north, Arthington and Taylor Streets on the south, Hamlin Avenue and Independence Boulevard to the west, and Rockwell Street to the east. Nearly 20% of the neighborhood is managed by the Chicago Park District, with Garfield Park occupying the northwest corner of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest and most impressive conservatories in the United States. 


Current, Emerging, and Critical Needs

West Garfield Park located on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas. It is situated directly west of Garfield Park (Chicago). The boundaries of West Garfield Park are NORTH: W. Kinzie St. EAST: Hamlin Blvd/ S. Independence Blvd. SOUTH: W. Taylor St. from S. Independence Blvd to S. Kildare Ave., S. Kildare Ave. from W. Taylor St. to W. 5th Ave, W. 5th Ave. from S. Kildare Ave. to S. Kolmar Ave. WEST: S. Kolmar Ave from W. 5th Ave. to W. Jackson Blvd., W. Jackson Blvd. from S. Kolmar Ave. to S. Kenton Ave., S. Kenton Ave. from W. Jackson Blvd. to W. Madison St., W. Madison St. from S. Kenton Ave. to N. Kenton Ave., N. Kenton Ave. to W. Kinzie St.