Calumet City, Illinois

Calumet City, known by many as “Cal City,” is located just across the southeast border of the City of Chicago, Illinois, at the state line between 103rd Street and 163rd Street east of the Bishop Ford Freeway. Calumet City is in Cook County, Illinois, north of the Village of Lansing and southeast of Dolton. It was originally known as West Hammond as it shares the State Line Road with Hammond, Indiana.

The community was founded in 1893 when it was mostly a farming community depending heavily on the factories and commerce of Hammond, Indiana.

During the time of National Prohibition, bootleggers like Al Capone (who had a getaway house there) built a base in the town of West Hammond that was just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. At that time, the area became known as “Sin City” where gambling, prostitution and illegal booze joints were prevalent. Clubs, saloons and taverns continued to prosper in Calumet City, and a new record was set when it was determined that the town had more liquor licenses per capita than any other community in the nation. Many of the clubs featured Las Vegas-style showgirl revues, as well as such performers as Frank Sinatra, Sophie Tucker and Gypsy Rose Lee. Life magazine dubbed the town the "Barbary Coast of the Midwest."

By the 1960s, shadier elements had moved in to control the town's bars, gambling, narcotics and prostitution rings. Later, the federal government began cracking down on the large crime families, breaking up their illicit holdings and sending mob bosses to prison. In the following decades, Calumet City's Strip was no longer seen as a sort of "Northern Las Vegas," but instead was infamous as a place to acquire drugs and prostitutes, and as home to a string of seedy bars that were a shadow of the nightclubs that had once reigned there. The city's darker reputation was also partly due to the fact that Illinois allowed Sunday liquor sales, where neighboring Indiana did not. This led to a brisk business for liquor stores and bars along the state line on Sundays.

In the 1980s and after, reformist efforts succeeded in the closing down and demolition of many of Calumet City's bars. The State Street Strip today is essentially an industrial park.

By the mid-1960s, Calumet City emphasized commerce with the opening of the 80-store River Oaks Shopping Center. The center was developed in an excellent location on U.S. Route 6, a few miles from the Bishop Ford Freeway.

By the year 2000, the population of Calumet City had risen to 39,000. Calumet City is served today by several elementary school districts: 155, 149, 156 and 157. Thornton Township High School District 205 lies west of Torrance Avenue and serves Calumet City’s families.

Calumet City is an easy commute via the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line or bus. Residents can also take Interstate 94 to reach Chicago’s Loop.

According to the 2010 census, the city’s population was 37,240. The median age was 35.1 years, compared to 39.6 years in Chicago. The estimated median income was $39,377 compared $55,137. Zip codes in Calumet City are 60409 and 60473.

Estimated median house or condo value in 2012 was $104,607, compared to $170,600 in Illinois. Median gross rent in Calumet City in 2012 was $874.

Calumet City is predominantly African American. An estimated 69.9% of the residents are black, 15% are Hispanic, 13% are white, 1.2% are two or more races, .3% are Asian, .2% are Native American and .08% are other races.

Kreisman Law Offices serves clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, including Calumet City and the neighboring counties of Cook, including, Lake, Kane and Will. Kreisman Law Offices handles a wide variety of cases, including Illinois medical malpractice litigation, product defect cases, probate litigation, commercial litigation, Illinois workers' compensation claims, Illinois nursing home abuse cases, and Illinois pharmaceutical litigation. The Illinois attorneys at Kreisman Law Offices have more than 40 years of trial experience. 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.

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