New City, one of the 77 official community areas, is located on the southwest side of Chicago. It is a blend of Irish-Americans in Canaryville, Mexican-Americans in Back Of The Yards, & African-Americans south of 49th Street. The area was home to the famous Union Stock Yards that were on Chicago's south side until they closed in 1971.


Back of the Yards

Back of the Yards is an industrial and residential neighborhood so named because it was near the former Union Stock Yards. Life in this neighborhood, which was famously organized by Saul Alinsky in the 1930s, is profiled in Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle. The area was formerly the town of Lake until it was annexed by Chicago in 1889. The area was once an Eastern European, predominantly Polish, neighborhood.

Jane Jacobs' book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, cites the Back of the Yards as an area able to successfully "unslum" in the 1960s, due to a beneficial set of circumstances. This included a stabilized community base with skilled members willing to trade work to upgrade housing, as well as active and well led local social and political organizations. Jacobs often cited the Back of the Yards as a model for other depressed neighborhoods to follow to upgrade their communities.[1]

Some time after the 1970s, the population of the neighborhood changed to predominantly Mexican-Americans.


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