|Community Area 30 - South Lawndale|
26th Street in Little Village
Location within the city of Chicago
|• Total||4.4 sq mi (11.5 km2)|
|• Density||18,000/sq mi (6,900/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||parts of 60608 and 60623|
|Median household income||$33,593|
|Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services|
Now predominantly inhabited by Mexican immigrants, Little Village was originally settled by Eastern European and Irish immigrants in the late 19th century, after the Great Chicago Fire sent the population of Chicago rippling out from the city's center to the outlying countryside. Jobs created by industrial development in the early 20th century also attracted residents to the area.
The neighborhood is called "Mexico of the Midwest" by many of its residents. Little Village celebrates Mexican Independence Day every September with a parade down 26th Street. It is the largest Hispanic parade in Chicago. The Parade attracts thousands of spectators each year who flock to the neighborhood to show support and pride for their heritage.
For green spaces and recreation in Little Village, residents can make a visit to the community parks. Washtenaw Park has a baseball diamond and offers a variety of arts and crafts classes for adults as well as day camps for kids. Shedd Park is a little park in Little Village named for John G. Shedd (known to most Chicagoans as the founder of the Shedd Aquarium). Piotrowski Park is the neighborhood's largest public park and is the most popular outdoor retreat for Little Village residents.
Famous past residents of Little Village include former Mayor Anton Cermak, who lived in the 2300 block of S. Millard Avenue, across the street from Lazaro Cardenas Elementary. Pat Sajak was also a Little Village resident. He attended Gary Elementary Schools and Farragut High School.
Marshall Square is a neighborhood in the northeast corner of the South Lawndale Community Area, named for the square formed by Marshall Boulevard, 24th Boulevard, Cermak Road, and California Avenue. It is bounded roughly by Kedzie Avenue on the west, 26th Street on the south, the BNSF Railway tracks (2000 South) on the north, and the Western Avenue Corridor railroad tracks (2500 West) on the east. The bulk of the Marshall Square neighborhood falls within the aldermanic boundaries of the 12th Ward. According to the Chicago Museum History Research Center, James A. Marshall, for whom Marshall Boulevard was named, lived in Chicago in the 1830s, opened a dancing school, and served as secretary of the Chicago Real Estate Board in 1833.
Although these days Marshall Square is widely considered by many of its residents to simply be the easternmost part of Little Village, with many businesses in the area using the Little Village name, the architecture reflects the distinct style of Pilsen homes. Marshall Square also has close ties with the southeast corner of North Lawndale, with a sizable Mexican population around the southern half of Douglas Park.
Points of interest include: the art-deco Marshall Square Theater at Cermak Road and Marshall Boulevard, which was originally a vaudeville venue, later a silent movie theater, and currently a venue for banquets, weddings, and Latin music under the current name of "Apollo's 2000"; the remaining building of the former Albaugh-Dover mail-order warehouse and factory on Marshall Boulevard at 21st; the massive Carter Harrison High School at 24th Boulevard and Marshall Boulevard, now an elementary school named for Maria Saucedo, an area teacher who lost her life in a fire in 1981, and is the alma mater of clarinet player Benny Goodman and newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet; and the highly visible statue of Marquette and Joliet which stands at the junction between Marshall and 24th Boulevards
Enlace Chicago operates within eight Chicago Public Schools in Little Village: Farragut, World Language, Infinity, Social Justice and Multicultural Arts High Schools and at Rosario Castellanos and Madero Middle Schools and Eli Whitney grammar school. "Enlace Chicago Community Schools."