Title

Avondale and Chicago's Polish Village

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

January 2014

Abstract

[Back cover] Home to Chicago’s Polish Village, impressive examples of sacred and industrial architecture, and the legendary Olson Waterfall, Avondale is often tagged as “the neighborhood that built Chicago.” Images of America: Avondale and Chicago’s Polish Village sheds light on the little known history of the community, including its fascinating industrial past. From its beginnings as a sleepy subdivision started by a Michigan senator, it became a cultural mecca for Chicago’s Polish community, playing a crucial role in Poland’s struggles for independence. Other people also called Avondale home, such as Scottish proprietors, African American freedmen, Irish activists, Swedish shopkeepers, German tradesmen, Jewish merchants, Filipino laborers, and Italian entrepreneurs; a diversity further enriched as many from the former Soviet Bloc and Latin America settled here. As in other Chicago neighborhoods, change is the one constant, as the arts have brought a renaissance to this working-class corner of the city.

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