Origins Settled by Abraham Harris c. 1853 and annexed c. 1889
Area North Side

Addison down Pulaski then down Belmont on the north, Diversey on the south, Western Ave on the east, tracks on the west

Gangs headquartered Latin Kings, Spanish Cobras, Maniac Latin Disciples,

The lands that are now the Avondale neighborhood was just barren land until 1848 when an Indian trail was converted into a plank road that would eventually become Milwaukee Avenue.  In 1850 this area was then incorporated into Jefferson Township.  Even though it was incorporated land it was still a rural prairie land that had no settlers.  Abraham Harris was the first settler here in 1853.  Other than that, the area saw not really anymore settlement or activity until 1869 (Fact source, http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/98.html).

In the year 1869, the area had now become Avondale and was declared a village.  Now plans would be underway to build this area up.  In the year 1870, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific tracks were laid out and this drove a migration wave of farmers to Avondale.  The area remained a prairie land with scattered farmers in the 1870s and 1880s (Fact source, http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/98.html).

In the year 1889, Avondale was incorporated into the city of Chicago.  Once incorporation happened rapid construction began as Avondale evolved.  The new residents were German, Swedish and Austrian.  The community would also be settled by Polish people as well.  The area would continue to build rapidly during the years of 1889-1920.   Industrial businesses were built alongside this construction creating many working-class jobs (Fact source, http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/98.html).

In the 1920s and 1930s Polish migration bloomed along with Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians, and Belarusians.   This community became nicknamed the “Polish Village” due to the heavy Polish population that remained strong through the decades.

During the 1950s and 1960s various white greaser gangs roamed the Avondale streets.  In about the year 1957 the north side Insane Popes came to Avondale at Brand’s Park which was the first significant gang on these streets.    Other than this minimal gang activity, Avondale was one of Chicago’s safer neighborhoods during these decades.  The Brand’s Park Popes didn’t last long either, maybe a few years then they moved to Kilbourn Park in the early 1960s.

By the early 1970s nearby neighborhoods like Logan Square became heavily settled by Puerto Ricans.  A racial clash in Logan Square led to several different Puerto Rican and white gangs, this posed a threat to Avondale youths that did not want to see their neighborhood succumb to gangs and decline like Logan Square.  This is when the Simon City Royals came to Avondale in the year 1972 for white youths who were concerned about outsiders taking over.  The Gaylords would also settle in this area by the early or mid-70s as well but were not as large as the Simon City Royals.  Both groups conflicted with each other but were both there to be protection for the neighborhood.  Although these groups were here there really wasn’t much or a Hispanic population in the first half of the 70s.

At some point later in the 1970s Hispanic migration increased into Avondale and Hispanic youths often became victims of attacks by white gangs that perceived this migration to be a threat by changing the culture of the community.  This brought Maniac Latin Disciples to the neighborhood to defend the Hispanic community.   In the 1970s Maniac Latin Disciples would become the first Hispanic gang as they settled Kedzie and Barry then Barry and California in 1978 after the Royals left.

White flight from Avondale was rather minimal in the later 1970s and earlier 1980s; however, Maniac Latin Disciples still recruited heavy numbers as they viciously battled the Simon City Royals and Gaylords.  Spanish Lords arrived in the 1980s along Diversey as the Gaylords shrunk in size in the 80s.

The 1980s was a rougher decade in Avondale as the gang rivalries became more violent.  Some levels of white flight happened in the later 1980s as Mexican and Puerto Rican people would move in.  More varieties of gangs would move into the neighborhood which led to more gang clashes.  The Spanish Lords were one group to move in during the 1980s.  At some point the Spanish Cobras moved in and became quite a large force.

The 1990s was another decade of some intense gang activity; however, Avondale did not become one of the more dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago.  During the 1990s Hispanic migration became at one of the highest points but Avondale would not become majority Hispanic until recent decades.

The Latin Kings moved into this neighborhood in the 1990s and soon grew to be one of the more dominating groups in this neighborhood.

After the 1990s, Gaylords withdrew from this area as most Simon City Royal activity ceased.  Spanish Lords would also leave the area.  Simon City Royals would remain active in the 2000s but had left by the 2010s.

Property values have increased in recent decades making Avondale one of the more expensive communities to live in.  Most of the gang activity left the area in recent decades but some still occurs.

The dominant gangs of Avondale are Spanish Cobras, Maniac Latin Disciples and Latin Kings.

Here is a list of all the gangs that have walked these streets:


Gaylords 70s, 80s and 90s

Barry & Central Park Ave 70s, 80s, 90s

Troy and George 70s

Diversey & Artesian 70s

Insane Popes (north side group) Late 1950s-early 1960s

Elsdon & Francisco (Brand’s Park)

Latin Eagles

Diversey & Mozart

Simon City Royals Established 1972-2000s

Belmont to Wellington, Milwaukee to Springfield (Murda Ave)

George & Ridgeway

Barry & Avondale

California & Fletcher Established 1972

Drake & Wolfram Established 1972

Kimball & Avondale

Lawndale & Roscoe

Albany and School Established 1979-1990s

School & Avers

Wellington & Christiana

Barry & California 70s

Francisco & Fletcher 70s 80s 90s

Allen & Kimball 70s

Belmont & Kimball 70s

Avers & School 90s 2000s

George & Christiana 90s 2000s

Orquestra Albany

Wellington & Hamlin

Latin Kings 1990s-present years

Belmont & Central Park Ave 2000s-present years

Drake & School 90s-present years

Belmont & Sacramento

George to Diversey, Francisco to Mozart

YLO Cobras

George & Avers

Spanish Cobras

Barry to Milwaukee, Elbridge to Gresham

Drake & Wolfram

Spanish Lords 80s, 90s

Diversey from Artesian to Campbell 80s 90s

Maniac Latin Disciples Established 1970s-present years

Elston to Roscoe, Troy to Albany

Barry to Wellington, Spaulding to Kedzie (Oakville) 70s-present years

Barry to Milwaukee, Central Park Ave to Eldbridge

Kimball to Milwaukee, Gresham to Allen

Barry & California (BC) Established 1978

Artesian & Diversey (D Block) 2000s-present years

Rockwell & George (RG) 90s-present years

School & Albany (Pee Wee City) 90s-present

Allen & Kimball 80s-present

Belmont & Kimball 80s, 2000s-present years

Roscoe & Avers 90s

Francisco & Fletcher 2000s-present