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North Pole: The Chicago North Side

north side chicago neighborhoods

A Look Inside North Side Chicago Gangs and Neighborhoods…

When it comes to the streets of a city known as Chiraq, North Side Chicago is unknown to many outsiders as the streets of the North Side Chicago neighborhoods once consisted of one of the country’s most notorious communities, Cabrini Green.

From the former location of the old Cabrini Green housing projects to the section of the city known as the North Pole, a stretching from Lawrence Avenue to Rogers Park, the North Side Chicago gangs and ‘hoods are combined areas of blacks and Latinos.

While not as active as the South Side or not as reputable as the West Side, the North Side Chicago gangs and the territories that they claim have been on notice for the past few decades, especially as the urban community of the North Pole area is expanding.

north side chicago neighborhoods north side chicago gangs

The former Cabrini Green housing complex. Courtesy David Wilson/Flickr

As stated, the most notorious of the North Side Chicago neighborhoods was the former high rise public housing complex of Cabrini Green, an infamous area with a number of Chicago gangs like Gangster Disciples and Mickey Cobras.

The problems of Cabrini Green were constantly broadcast, from the extreme poverty and very poor living conditions to the violence with the once ongoing gang wars between rival buildings that consisted of opposing gangs.

Originally built during the 1940s, went from a community that was only meant as a temporary stepping stone to a better to a very troubled complexed that eventually would meet its demise with the demolishing of the entire complex, leaving only the low rises, which are mostly vacant as of today.

With the demolishing of the high rise section of Cabrini Green and the majority of the low rise units being vacant, the main neighborhood of the Near North Side is currently the Marshall Field apartment complex, as well the only section that is left of Cabrini Green, the small housing units along N. Cambridge Ave.

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Miles north of the Near North Side is another small public housing complex, the Lathrop Homes, a multi-racial community of African Americans and Latinos, but similar to other public housing projects most of the complex is set to be redeveloped with the idea of less public housing units, more than likely. 

The Bricktown area of Lincoln Park is home to Hamlin Park and the former North Side Chicago gangs of the Insane Deuces, which were once active in the community before the 2000s, with blocks like Wellington and Wolcott or around Barry.

According to ChicagoGangs.org, the Insane Deuces started in the 1950s as an all-white gang and after uniting with other gangs the Deuces were formed by the 1970s.

Some say that Lincoln Park was one of the more active sections of the North Side, but when urban renewal with the construction of a number of prominent developments, like DePaul University, many of the old members of the community were forced relocate into other North Side Chicago neighborhoods as they were not able to live in the area anymore due to the expense.

The North Side, and Northwest Chicago, is a prominent home to the city’s Latino community of residents with either Mexican or Puerto Rican heritage as the area from Diversey Avenue to Foster Avenue, between the Chicago River and Interstate 90, has grown throughout the years within Chicago’s Hispanic population.

This includes areas like Irving Park, Avondale, or Albany Park as during the 1970s these communities grew as an extension of some of the city’s more traditional Hispanic neighborhoods like Logan Square or Humboldt Park.

With the large Latino population of the streets of the North Side ghetto, North Side Chicago gangs have built up reputations on their respected neighborhoods, gangs like the Imperial Gangstas, Familia Stones, Spanish Gangster Disciples, and the largest Latin Kings.

north side chicago gangs

Chicago North Side gangs tag of the Latin Kings. Courtesy of Slide100100/Flickr

The section of the North Side Chicago that is known as the North Pole, from Rogers Park to the Uptown neighborhood, is a large diverse community of African Americans and Latinos who have been displaced from other Chicago neighborhoods and have been making their way into the North Pole since the 1980s.

‘Hoods like Wicked City and the Jungle of Rogers Park or the Chicago gangs of Latin Kings, Black P. Stones and Gangster Disciples makes the North Pole as dangerous and as active as the more notarized sections of the city.

With the mass gentrification of numerous of urban neighborhoods that are only minutes away from downtown and other main attractions of Chicago, the far North Side (North Pole and surrounding areas) are destined to grow and become more urban due to redevelopment displacing people from the community.

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Check out more on the communities of Chicago and Illinois.

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

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