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Chicago's South Side
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Near Southwest

Author James Truslow Adams described the American dream as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement … in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

As we move westward into the Southwest Side, the ethnic diversity and immigrant legacy of Chicago neighborhoods – and the pursuit of the American dream – are illustrated in high relief.

Starting around the 1850s, the area became populated by waves of Irish, Chinese, German, Polish, Lithuanian and other immigrants who came seeking opportunity – to dig canals, to work in the stockyards, to man Chicago’s burgeoning factories, and to make a life in the United States.

Today, those early immigrants – many now in their fifth generations and beyond – are joined by families who continue to come to America, and to Chicago, for its offer of jobs, community, and a chance to pursue that dream.

Near Southwest