Tag Archive for Best of the South Side 2011


Originally dubbed “Beverly Hills” in reference to a massive prehistoric ridge that spans it, the neighborhood has always been home to more upwardly mobile middle class families than California-style celebrities. Today, while the outskirts of the neighborhood are home to commercial development, a continuous stream of traffic, and sun-baked sidewalks, the heart of Beverly continues to provide a respite from Chicago’s harsh urban scenery.

Best of the South Side 2011

If you look at a map, you’ll see our city of neighborhoods carved into 77 “community areas.” The lines, drawn by sociologists in the 1950s, sometimes traced the perimeters of ethnic enclaves and sometimes created them. Flattening Chicago’s complex social geography, these semi-official designations remain in use, but even urban planners would admit they are not adequate. Borders shift and names change, reflecting the movement of people from one place to the next. Local identity is made in the minds of residents as much as it is inherited. It is a sum of experiences.

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.