Located 13 Miles Southwest of The Loop.
Neighborhoods include: Galewood, North Austin, South Austin, The Island, Lawndale, West Garfield Park, Hermosa, West Humboldt Park
Zip Codes Include: 60635, 60639, 60651, 60644
Austin, located on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, is the largest (by population) of the city’s 77 officially defined community areas, followed by Lake View. Its 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.
Austin is also one of Chicago’s largest community areas by land area. Several distinctive areas within Austin include Midway Park, a historic district of restored 19th-century single-family homes in the core of the original Austin subdivision; Galewood, the northernmost section of Austin along the northern border with Oak Park but south of the Galewood railyards; and The Island, Chicago a square mile in the extreme southwest corner of Austin, which is bordered by Cicero to the south and Oak Park to the west and which is isolated from other residential area in the city by the Eisenhower Expressway and Columbus Park to the north and an industrial area to the east.
Henry W. Austin, a businessman and real estate speculator, created the 280-acre Austin subdivision in 1865. Austin included wide, tree-lined streets and a park originally named Holden Park. Originally Austin was within the Township of Cicero. Cicero decided to place its seat of government in Austin, and in 1870 a town hall opened in Austin. In 1898 Austinites had a majority of Cicero’s town council and used the political influence to approve an extension of the Lake Street elevated line into the community. People from other parts of Cicero Township, including Berwyn and Oak Park, resented the influence and the dominance of Austinites and began an election to have Austin annexed into Chicago. In 1899 the annexation succeeded; Austinites opposed the annexation.
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. While white residents of Austin in the early 1960s generally thought negatively of leaving their neighborhood for the suburbs, a combination of events occurred in the years after to change this. City of Chicago officials were not responsive to the neighborhood’s demands for improving neighborhood infrastructure. The suburbs gradually became better supported through an increased transportation system between Chicago and its suburbs, and many jobs left the city for the suburbs and overseas locations. Significant riots began to occur on Chicago’s West Side starting in 1965, and an especially damaging riot in 1968 (after Martin Luther King’s death) prompted many white residents to leave. The west side experienced a further declining infrastructure and lack of local jobs after this.
The Blue Line provides connections to CTA Bus #91, Pace Buse #315. The Green Line provides connetions to CTA Buses #N20 (overnight) and #91, Pace Buses #309, #313.
• Total 98,514
• Density 14,000/sq mi (5,300/km2)
• White 4.43%
• Black 85.1%
• Hispanic 8.85%
• Asian 0.58%
• Other 1.03%