Back of the Yards

The Four Stomachs of Sustainability

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eisenmann Biogas System in the gravel backyard of the Plant on November 9th, speakers ranging from Alderman Pat Dowell to Eisenmann President Mark West tried to explain how the System, represented by a circle in the gravel, would work.

Back of the Yards

When Chicago was hog butcher to the world, America’s hog butchers lived in Back of the Yards. The neighborhood takes its name from the adjacent site of the Union Stockyards, which ran on the fat and gristle of bovine slaughter…

Best of the South Side 2012

Chicago is a city that boasts, and this is our contribution. Our half of the city–the South Side–is many things, and in our annual Best Of issue, we haven’t tried to solve the riddle of what makes this place tick…

Sticking Up for Lacrosse

Paul looked on appreciatively from the sidelines as his son came off the bench for the first time in the game. Two years younger and a head shorter than the other players around him, Paul Jr. chased down stray balls…


[nggallery id=25] The communal dining room and kitchen at Northwest Mental Health Center has long been a fixture of programming at the clinic. Rosa Torres, who has worked as a clinical therapist at Northwest for 21 years, recalls how busy…

Redistricting Fault Lines

On October 25, the assembly hall of the Hyde Park Union Church was nearly empty. This gathering was a preliminary informational meeting concerning a process that Chicago undergoes every decade–aldermanic ward redistricting.

Back of the Yards

Just southwest of the former Union Stockyards, there’s a neighborhood that, for better or for worse, will always be defined by them. While the area is still heavily blue-collar, the grim realities of stockyard life immortalized in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” have drifted off into history.

New Brews

Started by Samuel and his brother Jesse, the New Chicago Brewing Company, which is currently under construction, will soon occupy 13,000 sq. ft. of the Peer Foods Building in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. In this post-Goose Island buyout world, the brewery aims to utilize innovative and sustainable brewing practices to create a beer unique to Chicago.