Garfield Ridge, Illinois

Garfield Ridge is one of the 77 officially recognized communities of Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the southwest side of the City of Chicago. The northern half of Chicago Midway International Airport is located in Garfield Ridge. The area was named in 1915, when it was annexed by the City of Chicago.

Garfield Ridge stretches from Pershing Road, just north of the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate 55) to 59th Street, and from Cicero Avenue to Harlem Avenue. Archer Avenue is its main artery. Communities that border Garfield Ridge are South Lawndale, Archer Heights and West Elsdon to the east and Clearing to the south. To the north are the municipalities of Forest View, Stickney and Cicero, Illinois. The Village of Summit lies to the west of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood.

According to the most recent census data, 43,730 people live in the Garfield Ridge community. Garfield Ridge is 4.2 square miles in area. The zip codes there are 60632 and 60638.

The median annual income in Garfield Ridge is $57,677, compared to $43,628 in Chicago as a whole. The median monthly rent in Garfield Ridge is $913, compared to $789 for the rest of Chicago. Garfield Ridge includes more families than other areas of Chicago; in Garfield Ridge, 53.9% of the households are families, compared to 43.5% in the rest of Chicago.

In Garfield Ridge, 53.23% of the residents are white, 5.91% are black, 39% are Hispanic, 1% is Asian and 0.7% is other races.

When it was first settled, Garfield Ridge contained the southernmost portion of Mud Lake, a swamp that connected the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River. The southern shore was known as Point of Oaks and extended to 53rd Street and Oak Park. The lake provided an important travel route for Native Americans and the French explorers Marquette and Joliet. During the wet season, travelers could take a canoe through Mud Lake, connecting Lake Michigan to the Illinois River. In the 1830s, a canal was dug, named the Illinois & Michigan Canal. It was crucial to Chicago’s development as a transportation hub. Later, the much larger Sanitary and Ship Canal was built, which exists today. In 1909 rail yards and switching tracks were developed and began operating, contributing to growth. Almost immediately, industry sprung up around the yards, which led to a population spike. In 1915, the area was annexed by Chicago. It was at this time that the term Garfield Ridge began to be used. Its name is derived from 55th Street being known as Garfield Boulevard named after President James Garfield. It was also named after the subtle ridge running between 53rd and 54th streets, which separate the swampy Mud Lake area from the drier highlands nearby.

In 1918, Polish immigrant Felix Bialon opened his general store at Archer and Meade avenues. This would become Midwest Department Store and was for a period of time the only business on Archer Avenue. The 1920s saw a large Polish immigration to the area around Archer and Lockwood. The Poles attended St. Camillus, which was at the time a mission church of St. Joseph’s in Summit, Illinois.

Many immigrants from Poland have moved to Garfield Ridge in recent years, and since the 1990s many Hispanics have also settled in the neighborhood. This gives Garfield Ridge a unique blend of varied cultures. There is a large Catholic population in the neighborhood. Garfield Ridge has numerous parks, including Wentworth, Normandy, Valley Forge, Vittum, and Stars and Stripes.

Midway Airport was built in 1923 in the northern part of Garfield Ridge. It was originally named Chicago Air Park and was used to carry mail in and out of Chicago. At that time, it had only one cinder runway. The airport grew in 1938 when it received a federal grant of $1 million from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In the 1940s it was renamed Midway Airport after the WWII Battle of Midway. Today the airport is dominated by Southwest Airlines and has been enlarged for the great increase in the number of daily flights that serve the airport. In the last 5 years the airport has undergone a major renovation project that featured upgrades to the terminals, parking and accommodations inside the terminals.

William Lipinski, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 2005 and previously a Chicago city alderman, was a longtime resident of Garfield Ridge, serving his community at both City Hall and in Washington.

Kreisman Law Offices is located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. We handle Illinois lawsuits for the entire Chicago metropolitan area, including the Garfield Ridge neighborhood of Chicago. Chicago's Robert D. Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has over 40 years of trial experience and specializes in a wide range of legal services, including Illinois personal injury law, mediations and arbitrations, Illinois product defect/product liability law, Illinois medical malpractice claims and lawsuits, probate, real estate law, 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 office handles Spanish speakers by our bilingual staff.

Our Chicago Loop office is in a convenient location for Chicago area residents. Kreisman Law Offices is located at the corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets. There are many convenient modes of public transportation to Kreisman Law Offices Loop location, including the Metra and CTA and there is ample parking available, both on the street and in the many public garages.

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