Kenwood

Chicago, Illinois

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Kenwood became fashionable in the late 1800s when rich Chicagoans fled the industrialization and prostitution of Prairie Ave. to the north (see Walk 13). Vast mansions were built over a period of several decades and the neighborhood was the home of many European Jews. After World War II, the same demographic changes that caused upheaval across the South Side were felt here. But owing to their wealth and determination to preserve their neighborhood, residents fought against panic selling and other changes. One key weapon: constant zoning challenges to prevent large mansions from being chopped up into rooming houses, an alteration that had doomed other upscale neighborhoods. Concurrently, many middle class and wealthy African-Americans were moving into Kenwood. In fact many sardonically said the local motto should be: “Black and white united to keep out the poor.” As you walk the mannered streets today enjoying the lush gardens and renovated mansions, you’ll appreciate both the truth in the phrase and the reality.

Kenwood Professional Review and Guide

"Kenwood became fashionable in the late 1800s when rich Chicagoans fled the industrialization and prostitution of Prairie Ave. to the north (see Walk 13). Vast mansions were built over a period of several decades and the neighborhood was the home of many European Jews. After World War II, the same demographic changes that caused upheaval across the South Side were felt here. But owing to their wealth and determination to preserve their neighborhood, residents fought against panic selling and other changes. One key weapon: constant zoning challenges to prevent large mansions from being chopped up into rooming houses, an alteration that had doomed other upscale neighborhoods. Concurrently, many middle class and wealthy African-Americans were moving into Kenwood. In fact many sardonically said the local motto should be: “Black and white united to keep out the poor.” As you walk the mannered streets today enjoying the lush gardens and renovated mansions, you’ll appreciate both the truth in the phrase and the reality."

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Chicago
Distance: 4
Trail Type: Shuttle
Season: Year-round

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