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Auburn Gresham, most commonly referred to simply as '"Gresham'", is one of the 77 official community areas of the city of Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the far south side of the city and was the original location of the South Side Irish Parade before it was relocated to the Beverly neighborhood farther southwest in the city.

Auburn Gresham
Community Area 71 - Auburn Gresham
Two-flats built in the early 20th century are common in Gresham.
Two-flats built in the early 20th century are common in Gresham.
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
Coordinates: 41°44.4′N 87°39.6′W / 41.7400°N 87.6600°W / 41.7400; -87.6600Coordinates: 41°44.4′N 87°39.6′W / 41.7400°N 87.6600°W / 41.7400; -87.6600
CountryUnited States
 • Total3.77 sq mi (9.76 km2)
 • Total45,842
 • Density12,000/sq mi (4,700/km2)
Demographics (2015)[1]
 • White0.50%
 • Black96.86%
 • Hispanic1.50%
 • Asian0.26%
 • Other0.88%
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
part of 60620
Median income[1]$29,389
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services



Auburn Gresham's development as a community dates back to the early nineteenth century, when the area was defined primarily by small German and Dutch settlements. A later influx of Irish railroad workers and others lured to the South Side by newly extended city services in the late nineteenth century led to further residential and commercial growth. In the 1920s, the population increased nearly threefold, from 19,558 to 57,381.[2] The plethora of bungalow-style housing and brick two-flat apartment buildings throughout Auburn Gresham serves as lasting evidence of the community's formative years. Like most other Southside communities, Auburn Gresham suffered from blockbusting, rising crime, and white flight during the 1960s: the neighborhood was nearly 100% white in 1960, but flipped to being 69% black by the 1970 census.

St. Sabina Church, dedicated in June 1933, remains a popular place of worship for many Chicagoans.


Auburn Gresham is serviced by a Metra commuter rail stop at W. 87th St. and Vincennes Ave., which provides daily inbound service to LaSalle Street Station in Chicago and outbound service to Joliet. Community leaders have long encouraged the construction of an additional Metra rail stop at W. 79th St.[3] In 2014, the City of Chicago obtained a half-acre parcel of land on which to construct the station.[4] CTA red line stops at 79th St. and 87th St. are also available along the Dan Ryan Expressway in nearby Chatham.


Chicago Public Library operates the Thurgood Marshall Branch in Auburn Gresham at W. 75th St. and S. Racine Ave. The 13,500 square foot library, which features a 125-seat auditorium, reading garden, and several artworks, opened in April 1994.[5][6]

St. Sabina Church is located in the community, headed by Rev. Michael Pfleger. The church and its priest have been pivotal in helping transform Auburn Gresham, with new housing and store fronts opening up in the neighborhood. One of the largest new single-family home developments in Chicago is nearly complete at W. 87th St. and S. Parnell Ave., in the southeast corner of Auburn Gresham.

Auburn Gresham is home to the St. Leo Campus for Veterans, which includes the Catholic Charities' St. Leo's Residence, the Auburn Gresham Community Based Outpatient Clinic, the St. Leo's Veteran's Garden, and the Pope John Paul II Residence.[7] The community is also home to Perspectives Leadership Academy and Perspectives Technology Academy which are a part of the Renaissance 2010 program. Both schools are housed in the same building that was home to the former Calumet High School in the Auburn Gresham community. Calumet High School was one of Chicago's oldest high schools opening its doors to Auburn Gresham neighborhood students in 1919. The Auburn Gresham community is also home to the first urban S.O.S. Children's Village in the U.S.


Census Pop.
Est. 201545,842−6.0%

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Community Data Snapshot - Auburn Gresham" (PDF). MetroPulse. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "Auburn Gresham". Encyclopedia of Chicago. 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  3. ^ "Funding keeps Metra in neutral". Chicago Tribune. 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  4. ^ "City of Chicago :: Land Acquisition Will Support New "Auburn Park" Metra Station". Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  5. ^ "Thurgood Marshall". Chicago Public Library. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  6. ^ "Library Does Justice To A Memory". Chicago Tribune. 1994-07-22. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  7. ^ "St. Leo Campus for Veterans". The Catholic Charities. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  8. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Michael Flatley Sr., Founder of Flatley's Plumbing Express, Has Passed Away". 14 March 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2017.

External linksEdit