Sunday, December 31, 2017

A primer about the difference between a Chicago community and a Chicago neighborhood.

Chicago consists of 77 communities. Many of those communities having multiple neighborhoods. People who grew up of live in Chicago may know the neighborhood name but would call the community by the neighborhood name because that is what most Chicagoans did. Not to be confusing but... some communities also have the same name for one of its neighborhoods.

Chicago community and neighborhood names are use in legal documents, such as real estate titles along with longitude and latitude and plot coordinates.
West Ridge and Rogers Park communities (in black), have neighborhoods (in blue). Throughout Chicago's history, many neighborhood boundaries have changed or shifted as 'progress' forced some of these changes. 

Example of community and neighborhood loss of area: In the "Near West Side Community (with neighborhoods of: Columbus Circle, Greektown, Little Italy, Medical Center, Near West Side, Tri-Taylor, Fulton River District, and University Village), the "Little Italy" neighborhood used to be larger, but like many other neighborhoods of Chicago was effected by the construction of new expressways. It lost a considerable chunk of land when the Eisenhower Expressway was built in the 1950s. It lost even more real estate when the University of Illinois-Chicago moved into the area in the 1960s.
NOTE: Some Chicagoans, mostly southsiders ask "What parish are you from?" Parishes are Roman Catholic Churches of the Archdiocese of Chicago. They are NOT legal names of Chicago communities or neighborhoods. Chicago has many religions and faiths. Asking or stating a Parish as a Chicago neighborhood is assuming the other person knows the church AND its location. What you, your friends and family call a Chicago area is up to you, but a parish name, unlike New Orleans, Louisiana, is not official.
An interactive Google map of all Chicago Neighborhood within each community.

By Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

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