The Chicago neighborhood once dubbed the “Black Metropolis” has earned the distinction of being named among This Old House magazine’s best neighborhoods for stunning old houses with a lot of heart.
As This Old House notes, the history-filled Bronzeville neighborhood is home to an array of period homes — Queen Annes, Richardsonian Romanesques and more — built largely between 1881 to 1910, during the Great Migration that brought many African-Americans to the area. The price tags? From $50,000 for a fixer-upper to $275,000 and up for an upgraded home.
(Scroll down to take a peak at Bronzeville in photos.)
In the early 20th century, the neighborhood “became a hotbed of activists, musicians, artists, and writers whose work has shaped the African-American urban experience, including such luminaries as Richard Wright, Louis Armstrong, Lorraine Hansberry, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy,” the magazine writes, while leaving out names including Sam Cooke, Ida B. Wells, Andrew “Rube” Foster and many others.
The neighborhood — which was home to more than 300,000 people at its peak — began its decline after World War II but is back on the upswing with signs of revitalization including, as just a few examples, a spirited push to be the site of the Obama presidential library and the groundbreaking of new development including the Shops and Lofts project at 47th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.
The neighborhood has also been labeled by the mayor as one of the city’s seven “opportunity areas” for new development — though area residents told WBEZ last month they were skeptical about the mayor’s plan or lack thereof.