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.
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.
Read on to see why it’s always a beautiful day to be living in Bronzeville Chicago.
Entertainment and Eating
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.
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.
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.
Commuting around Bronzeville comes with a wide variety of options. According to Walkscore.com, 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.
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
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.
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.
If you’d like to learn more about living in Bronzeville Chicago, I recommend exploring the following resources:
- Washington Post’s Neighborhood Guide to Bronzeville
- Yelp’s The Best 10 Arts & Entertainment near Bronzeville, Chicago
- Crain’s Chicago Business “Meet the builders of Bronzeville”
- WTTW’s Bronzeville feature (filled with history)
- Chicago Sun-Times’ Bronzeville neighborhood guide
- Choose Chicago’s Bronzeville guide
- Choose Chicago’s “24 hours in Chicago’s Bronzeville”
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.