Reflecting on North Lawndale's past, and looking towards its future

The Mission of the North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society is to chronicle the historical narrative and educate the community about North Lawndale’s unique cultural assets, its people and its architecture.

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Formally Incorporated in 2010

North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society Milestones

1999 - Small Grants Committee

In 1999, the Small Grants Committee was founded, with support by the Steans Family Foundation, to regrant funds to the community. Grantees included North Lawndale Community News, North Lawndale Employment Network, YMEN, and many others.

2010 - NLHCS

In 2010, the Small Grants Committee transitioned to become NLHCS after the success of the 2006 "Learning From North Lawndale: Past, Present and Future" exhibit at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

2022 - Website Launch

In 2022, NLHCS launched its newly refurbished and expanded website, which will become the home of our growing digital archive collection for community and public access.

North Lawndale Museum

NLHCS’ ultimate goal is to develop a physical space to house artifacts and archives, and to become an historical hub within the community for research, education, and engagement.

North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society

Discover North Lawndale

North Lawndale has been home to Benny Goodman, Golda Meir, Cornelius Coffey, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others. Sign up for tours of North Lawndale to learn more about our history, including

Homan Square (Sears Roebuck & Co)
K-Town Historic District
Reserve a tour!
Since the development of Lawndale and annexation into the City of Chicago in 1869, the community has experienced many changes over time.
From its inception and in the early development stages, Lawndale was a predominantly Czech and German community, having expanded west from the adjacent Pilsen community.
Early 20th Century
In the early 20th century, Lawndale became home to a large Jewish population that had emigrated from central and eastern Europe, and had also expanded west from the adjacent Maxwell Street community. It was during this time that Lawndale’s population peaked at over 120,000 residents.
Beginning in the 1940s
Beginning in the 1940s, Lawndale experienced another communal transition from largely Jewish to largely African American as a result of the 2nd Great Migration. Lawndale became home to many black families that had left the South, predominantly from Arkansas and Mississippi, as well as from the Southside of Chicago. These families were following the dream of new financial wealth and homeownership on the Westside.
Particle element

Click on image above for historical and cultrual details

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