Bridgeport (Chicago), Illinois

The Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois is located on the city's South Side, bounded on the north by the South Branch of the Chicago River, on the west by the river's South Fork, on the south by Pershing Road and on the east by the Union Pacific railroad tracks. Neighboring community areas are Chinatown, Bronzeville, McKinley Park and Armour Square. Long known as the historical center of the Cook County Democratic Party, Bridgeport has been the home of five mayors, including Richard M. Daley and Richard J. Daley. Bridgeport is not only close to the Chicago Loop and near South Side attractions, but it is also close to U.S. Cellular Field, home to the Chicago White Sox.

In the past, the neighborhood was known for racial intolerance, but Bridgeport today ranks as one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods. Over the last decade, there has been an influx of artists and homeowners looking for reasonably price homes. The newcomers are drawn by the neighborhood's close proximity to Chicago's downtown and public transportation. There is also the draw of a mix of old ethnic restaurants and younger, hipper places found in cafe settings on 35th Street. Another advantage to the Bridgeport neighborhood is the fact that it has a 27-acre park -- Stearns Quarry Park, an old quarry that was once a dump, but now serves as a green space and thriving fishing locale.

The area is served by the Chicago Transit Authority’s Orange Line at the Halsted and Ashland stations, although Ashland is technically a few blocks outside of the neighborhood. CTA buses also serve the area, with ready transport both north and south.

Much of Bridgeport was initially Irish-American. In the 1830s, large numbers of immigrants from Ireland started settling in Bridgeport, and many of the same Irish immigrants who helped build the Erie Canal later came to Chicago to work on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Because Illinois ran out of money to pay for the project, the state began issuing "Land Scrip” to the workers rather than paying them. A large number of Irish-Americans who received the scrip used it to purchase canal-owned land at the northern end of the canal where it meets the south branch of the Chicago River. The original Bridgeport village, named "Hardscrabble," centered here on what is now the diagonal section of Throop Street on the northwest side of Bridgeport. The area later became known as Bridgeport because of its proximity to a bridge on the Chicago River that was too low to allow safe passage for boats, so cargo had to be unloaded there.

Bridgeport is also home to many Irish-Americans and Lithuanian-Americans along Lituanica Avenue, which runs between 31st Street and 38th Place one block west of Halsted Street in what was once called "Lithuanian Downtown." Today, there are also large numbers of first and second generation Mexican-Americans and Chinese-Americans, who, like the Irish immigrants of the 19th century, have settled in the Bridgeport area due to its affordable housing and proximity to work.

Bridgeport's Polish history is represented in its two churches in the Polish Cathedral style: St. Mary of Perpetual Help and St. Barbara. The Art Institute of Chicago has done restoration work on the paintings at St. Mary, which date back to 1890.

According to the 2010 census, the total area of Bridgeport is 2.1 square miles. The population was 31,925 in 2010. In Bridgeport, 35.1% of the population is white, 2.1% is black, 27% is Hispanic, 34.5% is Asian and 1.3% is other. Zip codes in Bridgeport are 60608, 60609 and 60616. The median annual income is $42,700, compared to $43,600 in Chicago as a whole.

The Chicago Public School District operates several primary schools in Bridgeport, including Mark Sheridan Academy, Philip D. Armour School, Robert Healy School, Charles N. Holden School, and George B. McClellan School. Residents attend Tilden High School in the Canaryville neighborhood just south of Bridgeport.

Parochial elementary schools in Bridgeport operating under supervision of the Archdiocese of Chicago include Bridgeport Catholic Academy, Santa Lucia School, St. Jerome School, St. Mary School and St Barbara School.

The Richard J. Daley Branch of the Chicago Public Library system is located at 3400 S. Halsted Street.

Kreisman Law Offices handles Illinois lawsuits for the entire Chicago metropolitan area, including Bridgeport. Chicago's Kreisman Law Offices has over 40 years of trial experience and specializes in a wide range of legal services, including Illinois personal injury law, Illinois product defect/product liability law, Illinois medical malpractice claims, commercial litigation and Illinois nursing home abuse cases. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.

Our Chicago Loop office is in a convenient location for Bridgeport residents. Kreisman Law Offices is located at the corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets. Or if you prefer, there are many convenient modes of public transportation to Kreisman Law Offices, including the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains.

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