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Burnside Apartments for Rent

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Burnside, the smallest of Chicago’s communities, is bounded entirely by railroads. Eleven miles south of the Loop, the neighborhood consists of a distinctive triangle with boundaries that include the Illinois Central Railroad on the west, the Rock Island on the south, and the New York Central on the east.

The neighborhood takes its name from Ambrose Burnside, a Civil War general and former company official with the Illinois Central Railroad. The area was mostly undeveloped swamp land north of Lake Calumet until after the American Civil War, when Illinois Central Railroad built the Burnside Station at 95th street.

By the 1890s, the railroad had begun construction of a repair shop at 95th and South Park Boulevard (now the site of Chicago State University), and Burnside was settled by the Hungarian, Polish, Italian and Ukrainian immigrants who worked there and at the plentiful factory jobs nearby.

Once the railroads were raised in the 1920s the neighborhood’s small size and ethnic makeup made Burnside a well-defined community; but Burnside began to suffer changes in the 1960s when nearby steel mills and factories were shuttered. Crime rates and gang violence forced long-time residents to move away.

Although Burnside and surrounding neighborhoods experienced a decline in population over the next two decades, by the end of the 20th century the pendulum had begun to swing once again. Thanks to new construction development and the renovation of older homes in the area, a steady growth trend has started to emerge in Burnside. The community is again becoming a comfortable residential community, still well defined by the railroads that created it.

Public schools in Burnside include Harold Washington Elementary School, named after Chicago’s first black mayor.

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