Albany Park
Albany Park

Albany Park

Origins Settled by Richard Rusk in 1868 and annexed in 1889
Area Far North Side

Chicago River on the east, Edens Expressway and Elston Avenue on the west, Foster Avenue on the north, Montrose Avenue on the south

Gangs founded Familia Stones, Akrhos (Flip City Kings),
Gangs headquartered Simon City Royals, Familia Stones, Latin Kings, Vice Lords, Spanish Gangster Disciples,

Albany Park was first settled in 1868 by Richard Rusk who bought 10-acres of land in the area and built and large farm and brickyard.  He also built the “Rusk Racetrack.”

In the 1870s and 1880s German and Swedish immigrants settled in the area and built up a community that became part of Jefferson Township.  In the year 1889 the area was annexed into the city of Chicago.

In the year 1893 Charles T. Mogul named the area “Albany Park” after the city of Albany New York he came from.  Mogul and other investors built up the area bringing several businesses and streetcar lines to the neighborhood.

In 1912, Russian Jews migrated to Albany Park from the Near West Side neighborhood.  By the 1920s the Jews became the majority in this neighborhood until after World War II.  After the war the Jews moved out, the area fell into economic decline as the neighborhood began to decline as well by 1969.

The first major gang to move into this area was the Insane Popes of the north side that settled in the North Mayfair area in the early 1960s. Now that the neighborhood was suffering by the late 60s the Popes and many residents of the neighborhood became upset about a sudden influx of Puerto Rican migration to the area.  At some point the Popes migrated to Beretau and Springfield by the 1970s.

I am not sure exactly when Puerto Rican gangs began to settle this area but for sure by 1975 Albany Park became a war zone between Popes, Simon City Royals, Gaylords and Latin Kings.  I know for sure the Gaylords and Royals had landed by 1975 and that the Lawrence and Kezdie Latin Kings also opened by 1975.  These became the big gangs of Albany Park in the 70s. Chi-West arrived earlier in 1974 which was another white gang upset about the neighborhood declining by outsiders.  There were also a group of Freaks that started on these streets at Keystone and Cullom but I am not sure which Freaks group it was.  The Puerto Rican Stones and Future Stones arrived in 1975 too which was two Puerto Rican groups that would establish major territory here.

In the 1970s Simon City Royals became very popular as they opened several sections at Montrose and Whipple, Sunnyside and Kimball, Montrose and Bernard, Sunnyside and Bernard and Montrose and Francisco.  Royals which also grow within a large cluster of streets in the 70s bounded by Lawrence to Montrose, Lawndale to Central Park Ave.  The Simon City Royals were clearly the largest gang in the neighborhood in the 70s.

The battle for these streets in the 70s was Simon City Royals, Gaylords, Insane Popes, Latin Kings and Puerto Rican Stones.

The area became the site of drug addicts and prostitutes in vacant lots and abandoned buildings.  Regardless of the fact that an urban renewal program was launched in 1978 to clean up the slum, gang activity soared in Albany Park as white gangs battled against Puerto Rican gangs.

Over the course of time Albany Park had at least 18 different major gangs patrol these streets.

The 1980s and 1990s were violent decades as Albany Park’s reputation for violence and gang banging became well-known all over Chicagoland area.  This was one of the neighborhoods people were advised to stay away from.

In the 1980s, Simon City Royals closed some of their turf while opening new areas like Wilson and Hamlin, Leland and St. Louis and Monticello and Leland.  Royals left Sunnyside and Kimball and Montrose and Francisco.  Puerto Rican Stones had left Leland and Troy in the 80s but opened Montrose and Francisco after the Royals left.  Gaylords left Wilson and Hamlin in the 80s.

In the 1980s an influx of several new gangs came to Albany Park.  The Spanish Gangster Disciples became very popular after their arrival in 1983 as they quickly grew to take two large clusters of land at Argyle to Ainslie, Drake to Bernard and Leland to Sunnyside, Drake to Kimball, they would also take Lawrence and Harding.  The Spanish Cobras arrived in the 80s and took a large cluster of land within Lawrence to Leland, Avers to Ridgeway.  The Spanish Cobras would also become one of the larger gangs in Albany Park.  Albany Park was now filled with Hispanic gangs as the neighborhood now experienced a major migration wave.

In the 1990s the gang landscape in Albany Park would change again as new gangs arrived and other groups left the area.  The notorious Familia Stones started up in 1992 that spawned out of the Future Stones as they took Sunnyside and Kedzie then spread into the Irving Park Road to Leland, Kimball to Sacramento region.  The Familia Stones would evolve quickly to become one of the larger gangs of Albany Park as Puerto Rican Stones and Future Stones saw their last days in the 1990s.  The Simon City Royals once again would close some of their turf and open new territories in the 90s but at this point they closed more territory than what was opened.  The 1990s was an expansion time for Latin Kings as their territory expanded greatly.

Several other groups arrived in Albany Park in the 1990s like Two Six, Harrison Gents, Satan Disciples and Gangster Disciples.  These groups would never grow very large but still would have an impact on this neighborhood for years to come.  Gaylords continued to operate in this area as the Popes left Beretau and Springfield in the 90s the Gaylords moved in.  Gaylords.  Gaylords would also have a short-lived new turf at Montrose and Francisco now that the Puerto Rican Stones had left.  Imperial Gangsters would also arrive for some time at Monticello and Leland after the Royals left.  The Four Corner Hustlers and Conservative Vice Lords would open together at Central Park and Leland.  From here the CVLs would grow greatly to becoming one of the larger gangs in the neighborhood as they now ran Argyle to Lawrence, Lawndale to Central Park Ave.  The 1990s was the most gang crowded decade in Albany Park.

After the 1990s Insane Popes left this area as Simon City Royals closed some of their turf heading into the 21st century.  In the 2000s decade the Harrison Gents and Imperial Gangsters left this neighborhood as the dominating gangs grew.  Two Six and Satan Disciples left the area after the 2000s

Albany Park had some improvements in crime in the later 1990s and into the 21st century when more middle classes began settling in the area.  The area became heavily gentrified in the 2000s decade as newly arrived upper middle classes had to deal with gangs in the area until it became too expensive for gangs to live here. In the 2010s gang activity became scarce and almost unheard of most days. Gang activity is still prevalent but far less than decades past.

Albany Park is the motherland of the Familia Stones, Future Stones and Flip City Kings.

The Dominating gangs of Albany Park are Latin Kings, Spanish Gangster Disciples, Simon City Royals, Conservative Vice Lords and Familia Stones.  Latin Kings and Simon City Royals have the deepest history as they once were the two dominating groups in the 1970s and 1980s.  The Puerto Rican Stones were also one of the top three in the 1970s.  By the 1980s SGDs grew to be one of the larger groups and the Future Stones had their peak.  By the 1990s the dominating groups at that time are still the dominating groups in Albany Park

If you are a newer resident to Albany Park and perhaps part of the young urban professional crowd, you may it interesting that these gangs once walked your streets in these sections.

Simon City Royals Established 1975-present years

Lawrence to Montrose, Lawndale to Central Park Ave

Wilson & Central Park Ave Established 1975

Lawndale & Agatite

Montrose & St. Louis

Argyle & Keeler

California from Montrose to Irving Park Road (Horner Park, Cal Mont Royals)

Cullom & Whipple Established 1979

Lawrence and Kimball Established 1975

Lawndale & Wilson (Jensen Park)

Leland & St. Louis Established 1975

Montrose & Whipple

Sunnyside & Kimball

Montrose & Bernard

Kimball & Cullom

Montrose & Drake

Wilson & Hamlin

Leland & St Louis

Monticello & Leland

Sunnyside & Bernard

Montrose & Francisco

Harrison Gents 1990s and 2000s

Argyle & Drake

Imperial Gangsters 1990s and 2000s

Bernard & Leland

Monticello & Leland (Murder Land)

Gaylords Established 1975-present years

Wilson & Hamlin (Haugan Elementary School Gaylords) Established 1975-1980s

Elston & Kolmar Established 1975-1980s

Beretau & Springfield 90s-present years

Montrose & Francisco

Insane Popes (North Side group) Established early 1960s-1990s

Carmen & Kolmar (North Mayfair Park)

Beretau & Springfield 1970s-1990s

Chi-West Established 1974-1976

St. Louis & Leland Established 1974-1976

Latin Kings Established 1975-present years

Lawrence & Kedzie (LKst, Homicide LKst) Established 1975

Pulaski & Argyle

Argyle to Lawrence, Kedzie to Sacramento

Argyle & Spaulding

Keystone & Cullom

Satan Disciples 1990s and 2000s

Ainslie & Avers

Montrose & Drake

Ainslie & Springfield

Two Six 1990s and 2000s

Sunnyside from Bernard to St. Louis

Spanish Cobras 1980s-present years

Lawrence to Leland, Avers to Ridgeway

Lawrence & Lawndale

Argyle & Lawndale

Lawndale & Wilson (Jensen Park)


Elston to Lawrence to Edens Expressway (Jefferson Park C-Notes, JP Notes)

Familia Stones Established 1992- present years

Irving Park Road to Leland, Kimball to Sacramento

Cullom & Whipple

Montrose & Francisco

Gangster Disciples 1990s-present years

Ainslie & St. Louis

Sunnyside & Kimball

Puerto Rican Future Stones Established 1975-2000s

Irving Park Road to Eastwood, Sacramento to Kimball Established 1983-2000s

Puerto Rican Stones Established 1975-1990s

Lawrence to Sunnyside, Kimball to St. Louis Established 1975-1990s

Leland & Troy

Sunnyside to Montrose, Francisco to Kedzie

Spanish Gangster Disciples Established 1983-present years

Argyle to Ainslie, Drake to Bernard

Leland to Sunnyside, Drake to Kimball

Harding & Lawrence (Lawrence City)

Montrose & Bernard

Conservative Vice Lords 1990s-present years

Argyle to Lawrence, Lawndale to Central Park Ave

Central Park & Leland

Argyle & Kedzie

Carmen & Spaulding

Argyle & Spaulding

Imperial Insane Vice Lords 90s, 2000s

Foster to Argyle, Kimball to Kedzie

Flip City Kings Established 1984-2000s

Leland & Troy Established 1984 as Flip City Kings

Four Corner Hustlers 1990s-present years

Central Park & Leland

Wilson & Hamlin

Monticello & Leland

Freaks (not sure which Freaks group) 1970s-1980s

Keystone & Cullom