West Lawn, Chicago

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West Lawn
Community area
Community Area 65 - West Lawn
A residential corner in West Lawn
A residential corner in West Lawn
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
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Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
 • Total 2.98 sq mi (7.72 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 33,355
 • Density 11,000/sq mi (4,300/km2)
Demographics (2010)[1]
 • White 14.76%
 • Black 4.17%
 • Hispanic 79.96%
 • Asian 0.63%
 • Other 0.49%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes part of 60629
Median income[2] $46,891
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

West Lawn, one of Chicago's 77 official community areas, is located on the southwest side of the city. It is considered to be a "melting pot" of sorts, due to its constant change of races moving in and out of the area, as well as the diversity that exists there. It has a small town atmosphere in the big city. West Lawn is home to many Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and other people of Latin American and Eastern European origin. The current Alderman of the West Lawn community is Alderman Michael Zalewski.


Chicago Lawn, to the east, was settled while the marshy land of West Lawn remained unsettled. Some housing was built during the 1920s, but it still remained swampy land. Houses were built during the 1930s which then reported German-Americans, Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, Czech-Americans and Italian-Americans living in the area. The area had been growing until the Great Depression, when the economy declined. After World War II, growth continued and new houses and streets were built. The Airport Homes Race Riots of 60th & Karlov in 1946 were intended to keep black people out of the area. After the 1970s, more Mexican-Americans, Arab-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Polish immigrants started settling the area.


One small business in the neighborhood, the Capitol Cigar Store at 63rd and Pulaski, features a tall Native American statue as the landmark of West Lawn. The statue is most notable for being seen in the movie Wayne's World. West Lawn is also the home of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture along Pulaski. It was founded by Lithuanian-American businessman Stanley Balzekas, Jr. and is the only museum in the US devoted to the subjects of Lithuania, the Lithuanian language, history, culture and politics, and to the Lithuanian-American experience.

Michael Madigan is a notable resident.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 8,919
1940 10,289 15.4%
1950 14,460 40.5%
1960 26,910 86.1%
1970 18,510 −31.2%
1980 24,748 33.7%
1990 23,402 −5.4%
2000 29,235 24.9%
2010 33,355 14.1%

Ford City

Ford City is a neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago which immediately surrounds the Ford City Mall, in turn named for the Ford Aircraft plant which previously occupied the site; the location was also the site of the Dodge Chicago Plant, which after World War II became the factory for the Tucker Car Corporation. In the future, the Orange Line of the Chicago 'L' will be extended here.

See also


  1. Paral, Rob. "Chicago Demographics Data". Retrieved 21 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Retrieved 21 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Retrieved 3 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links