Logan Square
Logan Square

Logan Square

Origins Settled by Martin Kimball in 1836 and annexed in 1889
Area North Side

Diversey Avenue on the north, Bloomingdale Avenue on the south, Western Avenue on the east, Pulaski Road on the west.

Gangs founded Ghetto Brothers Organization/Yates Boys Organization, Orquestra Albany, YLO Cobras, Latin Stylers, YLO Disciples, Latin Lovers, Maniac Latin Hoods, Imperial Gangsters,
Gangs headquartered Imperial Gangsters, Orquestra Albany, Latin Lovers, YLO Cobras, YLO Disciples, Spanish Cobras, Maniac Latin Disciples, Latin Kings,


Logan Square was first settled by Martin Kimball (yes, Kimball Avenue is named after him) in the year 1836.  It was not until 1850 that others began arriving in the area that Martin Kimball had begun building farms on the land.  The community became known as the town of “Jefferson” as of 1850 except for the area known today as Bucktown.

In the year 1863 the City of Chicago annexed the Bucktown area (then known as Holstein) while Jefferson remained a community of its own.  Another part of the future Logan Square area was another town named “Maplewood.”

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the towns of Jefferson and Maplewood began to grow at a faster rate with several more houses being built.  In the year 1889 both Jefferson and Maplewood were annexed into the city of Chicago and the area was renamed “Logan Square” which was named after General John A. Logan.  The neighborhood was then immediately paved and public transportation was put in place.  Housing construction grew more after the annexation.

After World War I Russian Jews and Polish immigrants arrived in large numbers making the 1920s one of the best times for Logan Square as the community grew tremendously.

The 1930s would prove to be a very hard time on the community as the woes of the Great Depression era took its toll on the community and many residents moved out leaving the houses and buildings to fall into a state of deterioration.

In the late 1950s another wave of residents left the community which sunk Logan Square further into a depression leaving many properties vacant.  The area was sinking into becoming a slum.  A wave of yuppies showed up in the early 1960s that fixed up some properties and helped the neighborhood’s value little but hard times were still present and low rent in the deteriorated structures became a feasible living scenario for impoverished Puerto Ricans migrating from Lincoln Park beginning in 1960.

The first Puerto Rican families to migrate to the overall Logan Square community arrived in the year 1960, while some small pockets arrived in the rest of the early 60s. By the mid-1960s a decent number of Puerto Ricans arrived and much of the white population was enraged especially when Puerto Ricans were blamed for the increased crime rate and prostitution.  This is when greaser gangs began to target groups of Puerto Rican youths.  During these years this was not a major issue because the culture of the neighborhood did not yet change like neighboring communities, instead white gangs often fought each other.  These were small gangs of greasers that would never become well-known gangs.

In the year 1969, Puerto Rican migration to Logan Square suddenly mushroomed which overwhelmed the neighborhood as cultural change was very rapid.  This is when the Gaylords street gang paid a visit to this community and converted a group called the Palmer Square Heads into the notorious Palmer Square Gaylords branch.  Shortly after the Lawndale and Altgeld and Moffett and Campbell Gaylords were started to join in on the fight against cultural change.

The issue with the Gaylords opposing the cultural change was many Puerto Rican youths were attacked and beaten just for moving about the neighborhood which created hate and animosity toward Gaylords.  This is when the Latin Kings migrated to the community to fight against the Gaylords in 1969.

Many other Puerto Rican youths found the Latin Kings and Imperial Gangsters to be undesirable groups to join; therefore, they created their own gangs to fight Gaylord, Latin Kings and sometimes Imperial Gangsters too.  The Latin Stylers was a group formed in 1969 that fought both Latin Kings and Gaylords.

By the year 1970, the Puerto Rican population was roughly 12% making up about 15,000 Puerto Ricans.  This is the time when racial tensions exploded as more gangs developed in this community. In the early 1970s a race war began between Puerto Rican gangs and the Gaylords.  This is when the Ghetto Brothers Organization, Yates Boys Organization and Haas Parkers (most members later became Latin Lovers) began. Yates Boys and Ghetto Brothers fought Imperial Gangsters, Latin Stylers and Gaylords.

Not every Puerto Rican youth willing to fight the Gaylords wanted to be a Latin King, some youths became victim to Latin Kings just as they did with the Gaylords.  Many of these youths called upon the Imperial Gangsters to join and before long the Imperial Gangsters settled these streets too in 1971.

In the year 1971, gang and racial tensions heightened as now white youths felt victimized by Puerto Rican gangs, this caused more white gangs to migrate here like the Taylor Jousters and PVPs.  In 1972 Orquestra Albany formed that fought Gaylords viciously, this group would later fight Latin Kings.

I am not sure exactly when another wave of gangs arrived on these streets, but I believe it all began in 1974.  By 1974 this community was falling into some blight and dealing with high crime, prostitution, and drugs. This infuriated white youths as they felt their community was changing for the worse and blamed Puerto Rican people and the gangs that migrated along with Puerto Rican settlement.  Simon City Royals arrived in Koz Park for the recruitment of mostly white youths or any other youths of any race opposed to cultural change.  By the later 70s Maniac Latin Disciples and Spanish Cobras arrived heavily recruiting mainly Hispanic youths.  Gaylords and Simon City Royals had a vicious rivalry; therefore, they did not work together.  Jousters, PVPs and Gaylords did work together.  Latin Kings, Yates Boys and Ghetto Brothers mostly worked together.  Imperial Gangsters, Maniac Latin Disciples, Orquestra Albany and Spanish Cobras worked together especially after the joined the Folk alliance in 1978.

The 1970s were a very wild and dangerous times on these streets but once the war over drugs began in the 1980s these streets became some of the more dangerous streets in Chicago as Logan Square developed a negative reputation.  Taylor Jousters and PVPs left the area in the mid-80s.  Puerto Rican Stones, Yates Boys and Ghetto Brothers also left in the 80s.

Gang issues heightened to perhaps the peak by the earlier 1990s as crime spun out of control.  Several new gangs arrived as Simon City Royals and Gaylords left alongside white flight.  The Hispanic gangs grew larger as new groups migrated in like Familia Stones, Milwaukee Kings and Latin Eagles; these groups would not maintain territory after gentrification pushed them out.

The culture of Logan Square began to change yet again as yuppies became interested in this community again.  When they settled here in the early 60s, they lost interest and left the area as crime blew up, but this 1990s group already knew crime and gangs had been here for a few decades and was willing to pay little money to fix up these properties.  As the later part of the decade arrived this neighborhood became increasingly popular for yuppies as one gang after another lost their territory to high taxes and high rent. By the early 2000s most of this community east of Kedzie had changed completely because of gentrification.  The gangs continued to be heavily active in the 2000s west of Kedzie as YLO Cobras, YLO Disciples, Latin Kings, Spanish Cobras and a good portion of the Imperial Gangsters still called this area of west Logan Square their home.  This did not stop yuppies from advancing west.  The Hispanic population was 65% in the year 2000 which was perhaps the peak number of the Hispanic population.  In the 2000s decade the yuppies take over drove up the percentage of the white population to become over 50% by the 2020 census.

Gang activity continued to decline and was more pushed west.  Logan Square is now almost completely unrecognizable from the 1980s.  Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Cobras, YLO Cobras, YLO Disciples and Imperial Gangsters still exist here in the 2010s and presently but are much harder to find out on the streets.  Logan Square is now one of Chicago’s safer neighborhoods.

Logan Square in the birthplace of the Ghetto Brothers Organization, Yates Boys Organization, Latin Lovers, Orquesta Albany and Latin Stylers.

In the 1970s this neighborhood was dominated by Latin Kings, Imperial Gangsters, Gaylords and Ghetto Brothers Organization/Yates Boys

In the 1980s this neighborhood was dominated by Latin Kings, Imperial Gangsters, Gaylords, Ghetto Brothers Organization, Maniac Latin Disciples, Latin Lovers, YLO Cobras and YLO Disciples and Spanish Cobras

In the 1990s this neighborhood was dominated by Latin Kings, Imperial Gangsters, Maniac Latin Disciples, YLO Cobras, YLO Disciples and Spanish Cobras

In the 2000s decade and since this neighborhood is still dominated by Latin Kings, Maniac Latin Disciples, YLO Cobras and Spanish Cobras.

Those of you from the young urban professional class may be interested to know these gangs have walked the Logan Square streets over time:

Maniac Latin Hoods Established 1975-1981

Francis & Stave Established 1975-1981

Imperial Gangsters Established 1971-present years

Fullerton to Palmer, Lawndale to Drake (Devil Side) Established 1971

Altgeld & Harding

Altgeld & Avers

Altgeld & Lawndale

Armitage & Spaulding

Armitage & Sawyer Established 1972

Belden & Drake

Fullerton & Kimball (Gangster City)

Fullerton & St. Louis

Kimball & Palmer (Killer Park)

Dickens & Central Park Ave

Mclean & St.Louis (Devil’s Side IGs)

Kimball & Cortland (Darkside IGs)

Dickens & Spaulding (Darkside IGs)

Drake & Cortland (Darkside IGs)

Cortland to Bloomingdale Ave, Springfield to Monticello (Cameron City Outlaws)

Gaylords Established 1969-1990

Altgeld & Avers Established 1969-1990

Altgeld & Lawndale (LA Gaylords) Established 1969-1990

Altgeld & St. Louis Established 1976-1983

Moffat & Campbell Established 1969-1990

Palmer & California (Palmer Square Gaylords, PGL) Established 1969-1990

Palmer and Sacramento Established 1969-1990

Ridgeway & Fullerton Established 1969-1990

Diversey & Avers Established 1969-1990

Diversey & Rockwell Established 1969-1990

Lyndale & Campbell

Insane Popes (north side group) Established 1974-1977

Diversey & Mozart Established 1975-1977 (Polish Popes)

Somewhere on Troy Street Established 1974-1977 (Troy Street Popes)

Simon City Royals

Diversey from Pulaski to St. Louis Established as Simon City Royals (Kosciusko Park)

Cortland & Whipple Established 1964 as Simon City, re-established by Old Simon City 1974-1978

Albany & Armitage Established 1974-1978 as Old Simon City

Mozart & Cortland Established as Old Simon City 1974-1978

Latin Kings Established 1969-present years

Armitage & Kedzie to Whipple

Sawyer from North Ave to Cortland

Armitage & California

Cortland & Whipple

California & McClean

Armitage to Cortland, Kedzie to Humboldt

Shakespeare to North Ave, St. Louis to Kedzie (Nano World) Partially in West Humboldt Park

Point & California

Chi-West Established 1975-1980

Maplewood & Charleston Established 1975-1980

Yates Boys Organization/Ghetto Brothers Organization Established 1970-1990

Francisco & Cortland Established 1970-1977 as Yates Boys Organization

Dickens to Cortland, Albany to Humboldt Established 1970-1990 as Ghetto Boys, as Ghetto Brothers Organization 1970, Yates Boys Established 1977

Insane Dragons

Kosciuszko Park (Shared with Orquestra Albany and Spanish Cobras)

Spanish Cobras Established 1979-present years

Diversey to Wrightwood, Pulaski to Avers (Kosciuszko Park, Diversey & Avers shared with Orquestra Albany)

Diversey to Drummond, Monticello to St. Louis

Schubert to Wrightwood, Milwaukee to Kimball

Charleston to Armitage, Western to Rockwell

Wrightwood & Monticello

Lawndale from Diversey to Shubert

Dicken’s & Central Park Established 1985

Cortland & Mozart Established 1979

Francis & Stave Established 1985

Schubert & Avers Established 1990

Orquestra Albany Established 1972-present years

Logan to Palmer, Kedzie to California (Darwin City)

Diversey from Harding to Avers (Kosciuszko Park, shared with Spanish Cobras)

Emmett & Sawyer

Schubert from Kimball to Spaulding (Unity Park, Sesame Street)

Kedzie from Armitage to Mclean (Maniac Senior Orquestra Albanies)

Dickens & Kedzie

Kedzie & Diversey mid-90s-2000s

YLO Cobras Established 1976-present years

Cortland to Bloomingdale, Francisco to California Established 1976 (Sin City)

Cortland to Bloomingdale, Lawndale to Central Park

Central Park Ave from Dickens to Shakespeare Established 1994 (Wild Side, Young and Crazy)

Francis & Stave (shared with Spanish Cobras)

Schubert & Avers Established 1978 (Kosciuszko Park, shared with Orquestra Albany and Spanish Cobras)

Shakespeare & Central Park Ave Established 1983

Latin Stylers Established 1969-present years

Kedzie & Wrightwood/Logan (Logan Square Park)

Diversey & Kedzie Established 1969-mid 90s

Familia Stones

Fullerton & Mozart

Homer & Western

Diversey & California 90s

Maniac Latin Disciples Established 1978-present years

Diversey to Wrightwood, Hamlin to Ridgeway

Armitage to Bloomingdale, Campbell to Western (Paisa Land)

Diversey to Shubert, Maplewood to Western (D Block)

Altgeld & Washtenaw (Wild Side) 90s-present years

Schubert & Fairfield

Lyndale & Campbell

Shakespeare & Maplewood

Fullerton from Washtenaw to California (Haas Park)

Charleston & Maplewood Established 1980-2000s

YLO Disciples Established 1976-present years

Cortland & Richmond Established 1980

Dickens & Hamlin (Death and Hell)

Palmer & Hamlin

Armitage & Avers (Mozart Park)

Fullerton & Springfield

Corland & California Established 1978

Puerto Rican Stones 70s, 80s

Diversey to Schubert, Fairfield to California 70s, 80s

Playboys Ventures Pulaski Park

Wrightwood & Avers Established as Ventures (P.V.J)

Taylor Jousters Established 1971-1986

Sawyer & Altgeld (Library Jousters)

Fullerton to Belden, Kimball to Drake Established 1971-1986

Latin Lovers Established 1973-present years

Milwaukee to North Point, California to Talman Established 1986 (Mexico City)

Richmond & McClean Established 1984 (L Town)

Lyndale & Campbell Established 1977-present years

Milwaukee & Campbell

Fullerton & Campbell

Fullerton & Rockwell Established 1973-1990s

Fullerton & Western 70s, 2000s-present years

Milwaukee Kings 90s

Schubert & Fairfield 90s

Harrison Gents 2010s-present years

Palmer & Campbell 2010s-present years

Latin Eagles 90s

Diversey & Mozart 90s

Black P Stones 90s-present years

Humboldt & Sacramento

Stoned Freaks Established 1975-1982

Monticello from Armitage to Cortland Established 1976-1982