It’s a beautiful day in Bronzeville

Using bronze itself, the Bronzeville name was placed in the concrete to welcome locals into a building.
Bronzeville in bronze on a sidewalk. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2011 by Daniel X. O’Niel [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

In this series of blog posts, we provide a summary of the neighborhoods where we’re currently listing and developing homes. In this post, I’ll be focusing on living in Bronzeville Chicago.

Located kitty-corner to Lake Michigan, Bronzeville is about 5.5 miles away from the Loop. Its neighborhood boundaries are Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the east, Pershing Road to the south, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the west, and 31st Street to the north. 

Bronzeville is the center of African American culture in Chicago. Historically, it’s even been known as the “Black Metropolis.” Bronzeville shines in its celebration of African American art, soul food, the blues, and jazz.  


This art installment is made of different size rectangles, all put together to make different gray panels. These panels are all put together to create a sort of abstract polygon in the middle of a very trim and manicured green lawn. Behind it is a two story building covered in windows.
An art installment in front of a glass Bronzeville building. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2007 by Richie Diesterheft [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

Close to Lake Michigan beaches, full of walkable sidewalks, great food places, diverse entertainment, and a culture built on history and great artists, Bronzeville has a lot to offer. Considering the neighborhood is fairly affordable despite its proximity to The Loop, it can be a great place for new homeowners to put down roots. 


This is a three story building with four main entrances. The stone on the building is a pinkish red, like worn-down bricks. Each home has a tower of beautiful bay windows on the front of it. The building is old, though, so some very dark green, lush ivy has spread from the center brownstone out to the roofs of the two next to it.
A Bronzeville brownstone covered in lush ivy. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2008 by Laurie Chipps [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day to be living in Bronzeville Chicago.

Entertainment and Eating

There are three pieces of crunchy friend chicken on top of three fluffy waffle squares. Both of them are on top of a shiny, rectangular plate.
Delicious, crunchy friend chicken served on top of fluffy waffles. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2015 by Kurman Communications [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

When it comes to feasting your eyes or your stomach, Bronzeville has a great variety of options. For unique breakfast food at all times of the day, head to the one and only Chicago Home of Chicken and Waffles to join owner Tanya Johnson in bringing Southern comfort food to a new setting. But if you want to try to get some more international diversity, Yassa Restaurant (a classic African eatery) can excite anyone’s tastebuds. 


There is an art installment made out of a bike and wires. They've hung it up in a tree and painted the body of the bike purple and yellow. The wheels, seat, and handlebars are a minty green. It's a brightly colored flying bike.
A colorful bike painted by teen artists. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2007 by Fuzzy Gerdes [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

After a good meal, there are just as many places in Bronzeville to entertain yourself, from art shows to museums. This includes the classic South Side Community Art Center and the Blanc Gallery. Whether you’re new to art or a seasoned veteran, the South Side Community Art Center also offers year-round classes. 

The area also has great annual events, like the Chicago Food Truck Fest and the Bud Billiken Parade


There is a red slide with yellow handle-bars up the stairs. To the right of it are some blue swings, and further into the park, some bouncy chairs that look like birds and cars.
A colorful children’s playground within Margaret T. Burroughs Beack and Park. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2010 by vxla [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

For nature lovers, there’s always the beach. Bronzeville has a whole collection of beaches and nature areas, like the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park. In 2015, the community and its local officials came together to open a public space in honor of Margaret T. Burroughs. Though the beachfront doesn’t allow dogs, it does have some wifi hotspots. 


The Numbers

A sky view from the 35th Street bridge, a pedestrian walkway. It's a sunny day and there are adorable, fluffy clouds.
The 35th Street Bridge. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2008 by Rex Babiera [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

Commuting around Bronzeville comes with a wide variety of options. According to, Bronzeville is very walkable with excellent transit. A The neighborhood is considered very bikeable. In fact, bike paths, like the 35th Street Bridge, and and nature walks are common in the neighborhood.

As far as public transportation goes, there are 20 bus stops conveniently located throughout Bronzeville. A typical commute to the Loop via the Green line station on 43rd is less than 20 minutes. Public transportation will get you to O’Hare in just over an hour and to Midway in about 50 minutes.


These are bay windows of
The beautiful bay windows of some Bronzeville homes. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2008 by Laurie Chipps [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

Car ownership in Bronzeville is also manageable. Parking is fairly easy and, because the neighborhood sits in between two major highways, commuters can get around the city in a reasonable time-frame. Without traffic, Bronzeville is only 12 minutes from the Loop and 28 minutes from O’Hare. 

According to Zillow, the median price of a home in the area is around $250,000, which is higher than some nearby areas, but lower than Bridgeport, The Gap, and Oakland. 

A Bit of History 

One of the many Black Arts Movement murals across Bronzeville. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2007 by Richie Diesterheft [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

As the African American culture center of Chicago, there is a lot of history behind Bronzeville. From the 1920s-50s, most African American migrants coming from the East ended up in Bronzeville when they made it to Chicago. 

Over the years, the locals built up Bronzeville from a segregated community to a cultural “Metropolis.” Many prominent African American figures came from Bronzeville, including Ida B. Wells, Louis Armstrong, and Gwendolyn Brooks. 

However, after desegregation, different zoning laws and infrastructure changes caused a financial downswing for Bronzeville.


A black and white photo of a woman and four children playing in front of their homes. There are large bushes, decent sized windows, and a big, green front yard that they're all sitting on.
Children playing in front of a home funded by Ida B Wells. Photo cropped from the original, taken in 2012 by Devin Hunter [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr.

Though the changes caused a lot of turmoil, influential people in the community (like Ida B. Wells) built Bronzeville up around them. This artistic influence continues now, illustrating by actions such as locals turning the old Pilgrim Baptist Church into the first National Museum of Gospel Music in America.

From the Black Arts Movement murals covering countless buildings to the Forum, African American arts have flourished in Bronzeville, making it a beautiful, rich cultural hub to live in. 


If you’d like to learn more about living in Bronzeville Chicago, I recommend exploring the following resources:


Interested in living in Bronzeville Chicago? I don’t have any active listings in the neighborhood as of this writing, but I’ve worked in the area in the past. Please feel free to contact me for more information on buying — or selling — a home in Bronzeville.

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