West Elsdon


Rural as late as 1938, with cows and goats commonly seen grazing along 55th Street, the southwest side neighborhood of West Elsdon saw its greatest period of growth in the years following World War II. Growth continued until the community reached its peak population in the 1960 census, and "almost all of the new building consisted of detached single-family brick houses," making the neighborhood an extension of Chicago's "Bunaglow Belt." Many of these new residents, who were predominantly of Polish descent, "were second-generation or established first-generation immigrants" that were drawn to the area by the prospects of home ownership "in a quiet residential area." 

West Elsdon has remained a quiet community with a steady rate of homeownership throughout the years. The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood has changed in recent decades "as the older white ethnic generation has aged." New families, though, many of them Hispanic, have moved to the area with the same expectations as those before them; home ownership in a safe, quiet community.