Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our 2020 and 2021 house walks were held virtually over Zoom. Each episode consists of a presentation about a home’s history followed by a virtual tour courtesy of the current occupants. Our 2020 episodes are a journey through space and time. Each home tells stories that connect Chicago’s fascinating history with the present. These episodes introduce the wealthy businessmen of the late 19th century, the developers trying to keep families in town during the rapid suburbanization of the 1960s, and more fascinating characters. Our 2021 episodes start with the Great Chicago Fire. Each presentation features stories of the eclectic mix of migrants, immigrants, and Chicagoans who turned the rebuilt Rogers Park into “The World in One Neighborhood.”
The neighboring communities of Rogers Park and West Ridge truly represent The World in One Neighborhood, where people from all nations make their homes and about forty different languages are spoken by the families of children in our local public schools. Long-time residents and newcomers practice many different religions, some based on the established traditions of their ancestral homes and others forging new traditions to serve the multicultural environment in which they now live. In this exhibition, we share the story of just a few of our local congregations, highlighting their place in the history of the neighborhood and exploring how they contribute to the life of the community today.
Current-day Clark Street was once part of an Indian trail, one piece of an expansive Native American trade network that existed well before European arrival on the continent. The trail functioned as a significant travel route until the 1833 Treaty of Chicago evicted many Native Americans from the area. In the following decades, a network of railroad connections to the rapidly-growing City of Chicago would spur development of Clark Street into a center of commerce and community. In 1893, Rogers Park was annexed into the City of Chicago, and Clark Street continued to play an essential role in the community’s history. The neighborhood was extraordinarily affluent into the 1950s. In the 1960s and beyond, Rogers Park drew many immigrant populations who would open enterprises that would develop the community further. Learn more about each era in this exhibit.
How did politicians get elected in Rogers Park in the late twentieth century? Pre-College Summer Scholars at Loyola University Chicago sought answers to this question by exploring a collection of historical political materials housed at the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society. As part of a week-long course on public history, students analyzed dozens of primary sources and organized them into a digital exhibit. Join the scholars in uncovering the changing influence of Chicago’s Democratic Machine over time and discover Rogers Park’s robust legacy of political activism