Head a little south of downtown and you’ll find Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Home of the Bud Billikin Day Parade, the U.S.’ second largest annual parade, as well as a plethora of other important events for the trajectory of black history. Located south of Chinatown, along the shores of Lake Michigan, Bronzeville apartments lie mostly within the bounds of the Douglas and partially within the Grand Boulevard community area. U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, is on the boundary of Bronzeville, and the IIT campus is located within it. The CTA’s Red and Green line ‘L’ trains serve Bronzeville.
Bronzeville residents are predominantly renters in mid to high-rise complexes with 50 or more apartments. Renters seeking an apartment can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 to $1,500 for an apartment close to IIT with nice amenities.
Bronzeville is a product of the great migration that occurred during the early 20th century, a time when segregation was still commonplace. Known then as “Black Metropolis”, it was and is a historic center of African-American culture, not only for Chicago, but also for the entire U.S. Many famous and notable Black rights leaders, including Ida Wells, the co-organizer of the NAACP, are from Bronzeville and her house is a national landmark. Population hit a peak in 1960 but has been in significant decline.
Bronzeville got its name from James J. Gentry who coined the term to respectfully describe the community and the skin tone of the inhabitants.
Bronzeville still holds onto its “Black Metropolis” style, but the area is considerably safer than it was a few decades ago. Population density has been dropping consistently, and improvements to the area have moved outwards from the Illinois Institute of Technology epicenter. A world-renowned architecture and engineering school, it brings a young, curious atmosphere to the neighborhood.
The Harold Washington Cultural Center includes a large theatre hall for local artists and performers as well as a Digital Media Resource Center to serve seniors, small business owners and youth of Bronzeville and neighboring communities.
In 2010 median household income was $32,805 and there were 18,238 people living in Bronzeville.
73% of those residents were black, 10% white, and 13% Asian. These statistics are influenced by the demographic of the IIT student body
Check out the Yassa African Restaurant for delicious chicken and fish. Head down to 47th street, Bronzeville’s Main St and you’re sure to find an array of food options, including Simply Soup Salad & Sandwiches. At Chicago’s Home Of Chicken & Waffles, the name says it all. For entertainment, catch a show at Harold Washington Cultural Center and support the community.