|Origins||Settled by James Rees and Elisha Hundley in 1853 and annexed in 1889|
Montrose Avenue on the north (west of Buena Park) Irving Park Road on the north (east of Buena Park), Diversey Parkway on the south, Lake Michigan on the east, Ravenswood Avenue on the west; Wrigleyville: Irving Park Road on the north, Cornelia Street on the south, Halsted Street on the east, Racine Street on the west
|Gangs founded||Latin Eagles, Paulina Barry Community, Simon City Royals,|
|Gangs headquartered||Latin Eagles, Gangster Disciples,|
This area was first discovered by non-natives in 1836 when Conrad Sulzer arrived; however, he did not settle in the area. The first actual structure built was not until 1853 when James Rees and Elisha Hundley built the Hotel Lakeview which served as a getaway for Chicago’s elite. This hotel was built at the present-day intersection of Byron and Lakeshore Drive. Right after the construction of the hotel immediate settlement of German and Swedish immigrants came to the area and built up several homes.
By 1857 a community was present; therefore, the area became a part of “Lake View Township” and this area was the majority part of Lake View Township.
Build up and settlement continued and then by 1887 the area was built up enough to be called the “City of Lake View.”
In the year 1889 all of Lake View Township was annexed into the city of Chicago which made Lake View an official Chicago neighborhood.
Lake View got a big boost in settlement in 1914 when Weeghman field was built as the playing field for the Chicago Whales which was a brand new team playing in the new professional Federal League that only lasted until 1916. Charles Weeghman then purchased the Chicago Cubs in 1916 and brought them from the west side to the north side right in Lake View. By 1921 the field and team were sold to William Wrigley Jr. who renamed the field “Wrigley Field,” in turn, the area of Lake View from Irving Park Road on the north, Cornelia Street on the south, Halsted on the east and Racine on the west became designated as “Wrigleyville.”
After the Chicago Cubs arrived the area boomed even more with several more people moving into Lake View and apartment buildings were constructed for working class residents that could not afford houses. With the rush of more people arriving in this neighborhood came an alarming trend of childless and/or single parent families that mainly dwelled in the apartment high rises. Some of these residents could not afford to pay higher rents; therefore, the apartments were an ideal place to settle, but eventually the buildings would start to experienced some deterioration.
In the late 1940s and 1950s some of the earliest Puerto Rican settlement settled in this community.
As the 1950s ushered in the childless couple’s craze increased even more as homosexual men found the area ideal as they settled near the lake in an area that became known as “Boystown” which is Grace and Halsted on the north, Belmont Ave on the south, North Broadway Street on the east and North Halsted Street on the west.
In the 1950s, Lake View began to experience greaser gang activity as outsider groups would pass through this area causing gang fights.
As Puerto Ricans were displaced out of nearby Lincoln Park and Old Town some migrated to Lake View in the early 1960s into the rental apartments that offered cheaper rent. The Puerto Rican families lived in the shabbier apartments that were mainly occupied by single people or childless couples. Local white greaser gangs objected to the arrival of the Puerto Rican populace and began attacking scores of Puerto Rican youths in the streets this led to the formation of the “Latin Eagles” street gang that was created to combat the greaser gangs in 1964. Gangs such as the “Aristocrats” were one of the earliest arch enemies of the Eagles.
I do not know exactly when it happened but the Paulina Barry Community, a mostly white gang formed in this neighborhood at Paulina and Barry intersection. The PBCs and Latin Eagles would become arch enemies in the 1960s.
By 1968 the gang wars got much worse with the arrival of the Puerto Rican Stones street gang which was another Puerto Rican gang that opposed Latin Eagles and PBCs.
In the year 1968 the Ashland Royals gang formed that was a mixed race group that numbered 7 members. This group fought Eagles and P.R. Stones.
In the year 1969, the Ashland Royals merged with the Simon City gang from West Humboldt Park and became the Simon City Royals. In the year 1970 the Simon City Royals had fully developed and began recruiting very heavily and were instant rivals with P.R. Stones and Latin Eagles.
In 1971, the Insane Deuces formed in North Center but spread their Hamlin Park territory to cross the borders into Lake View, this sparked a major war with Simon City Royals and Paulina Barry Community which became legendary. Deuces, Royals and PBC were really tough gangs.
Latin Eagles and Puerto Rican Stones were also hard-core elements that were know for exercising strong violence on enemies.
By the 1970s Lake View was facing serious gang and drug problems as there were gang members and drug dealers all over especially near Wrigleyville.
In the 1980s Lakeview once again became an attractive area for single people and childless couples to move into even though gangs swelled in the area and were committing several acts of violence on each other. Property values began to go up in the neighborhood as more yuppies moved in and by the 1990s gang activity was beginning to slow down due to yuppies taking over. The 1980s was still a fairly violent time period around the neighborhood when Cubs games were not taking place.
By the later 1990s the property the Gangster Disciples moved into was renovated then went up in value and yuppies mostly took it over. Yuppies were able to buy so much property in the 1990s most sections of Simon City Royals, Gangster Disciples, Paulina Barry Community and Latin Eagle turf was given up to gentrification. At this point gang activity became small by the later 1990s.
By the turn of the 21st century almost all gang activity was flushed out as the neighborhood became mostly controlled by yuppies and upper classes. Lake View still has an old legacy as a gangster neighborhood in the 20th century as this was the birthplace of the Latin Eagles, Paulina Barry Community and Simon City Royals.
In the 1960s the Latin Eagles and Paulina Barry Community were the big gangs dominating the neighborhood.
In the 1970s Latin Eagles, Insane Deuces, PBCs, Simon City Royals and P.R. Stones ran this neighborhood.
In the 1980s P.R. Stones, Simon City Royals, Insane Deuces, Latin Eagles and PBCs still ran this neighborhood.
In the 1990s the dominating forces were Latin Eagles and Gangster Disciples.
In the 2000s and later no gangs run Lake View really but Eagles and Gangster Disciples still live in these borders.
Lake View is one of the safer and more expensive neighborhoods to live in since the 21st century. It can be hard to believe that these streets were once very tough and the gangs here were beyond legendary.
For those of you from the young urban professional class may be interested to know these gangs once walked the Lake View streets:
Familia Stones Established 1992-present years
Barry & Sheffield 1992-present years
Paulina Barry Community 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s
School to Diversey, Southport to Ravenswood 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s
Puerto Rican Stones Established 1968-1992
Belmont to Wellington, Clifton to Halsted/Clark (Kenmore Playlot) Established 1968-1992
Lakewood & Addison
Henderson & Lakewood
Grace & Southport (Blaine School Yard) 90s, 2000s
Roscoe & Greenview
Irving Park Road & Ashland 2000s-present years
Wilton & School
Irving Park Road to Addison, Clark to Lake Shore Drive (Gill Park) Established 1964-present years
Irving Park & Ashland 2000s-present years
Simon City Royals Established 1968 as Ashland Royals, Established 1969-1990s as Simon City Royals
Cornelia & Paulina
Grace & Marshfield
Irving Park & Ashland Established 1968 as Ashland Royals, Established 1969-1990s as Simon City Royals
Newport & Lincoln
Waveland & Greenview Established 1970-1990s
Paulina & Cornelia Established 1970-1990s
Lincoln to Racine, Irving Park to Belmont Established 1972-1990s
Latin Kings 90s
Roscoe & Halsted 90s
Insane Deuces Established 1971-present years
Roscoe to School, Lincoln to Ravenswood Established 1971-present years
Gangster Disciples 90s-present years
Belmont & Clifton (Blue City Outlaws/Lifers) 90s-present years
Belmont & Ashland (G-Town)
Sheffield & Grace 90s, 2000s