Beverly-Morgan Park Collection

Institution: Chicago Public Library - Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-747-4300
Date: 1884-2002
Extent: 12.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid: None

Biographical/Historical Note:
Early settlers in Beverly-Morgan Park were mainly Protestants of English, Irish, Swedish and German descent. The area experienced a building boom between 1910 and 1930, however the community maintained a suburban atmosphere, forbidding the construction of factories or saloons near the Ridge. In the 1920s, Catholics began to settle in this predominantly Protestant community and by 1936 there were two Catholic parishes. African Americans began settling near the Rock Island Railroad line east of Vincennes Road in 1915. In 1921 the Chicago Commission on Race Relations maintained that blacks and whites in Morgan Park had cordial relations but that African American residences were limited to the area east of Vincennes Road.

The post-WWII building boom brought a great increase in population. In 1947 the Beverly Area Planning Association was founded. In decades to come, BAPA would fight panic peddling by unethical real estate agents, successfully promoting the area’s excellent housing stock and historical significance. The Ridge Historical Society, founded in 1971, worked to increase awareness of the neighborhood’s numerous landmark buildings. These agencies worked to nurture the stable, integrated middle class neighborhood that Beverly/Morgan Park remains today.

Scope and Content Note:
The materials in the Beverly-Morgan Park Collection (BMPC) document the evolution of two separate but related communities physically, politically and socially from 1884 to 2002. The papers in the BMPC consist of thirteen subject series: Biographical Sketches, 1953-1974; Businesses, 1884-1954;Cemeteries, 2002; Clubs and Organizations, 1896-1956; Historical Sketches, 1874-1994; Municipal Agencies, 1910-1982; Parks, 1896-1938; Real Estate, 1951; Religious Institutions, 1898-1971; Residences, c. 1899-1982; Schools, 1884-1980; Transportation, 1894-1967; Village of Morgan Park, 1894-1912; Newspapers, 1896-1995; and photographs.

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