Marquette Park (Chicago Lawn)
Marquette Park (Chicago Lawn)

Marquette Park (Chicago Lawn)

Origins Settled by John F. Eberhart in 1871 and annexed c. 1889
Area Southwest Side

59th Street on the north, railroad tracks just north of 75th Street on the south, Western Ave on the east, South Central Park Avenue on the west

Gangs founded Krazy Get Down Boys, Tall Arabian Posse,
Gangs headquartered Satan Disciples, Ambrose, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Two Six,

In the year 1871 this area was purchased by John F. Eberhart who founded the “City of Chicago Lawn” which was a part of Lake Township at the time since 1850.

This community of Chicago Lawn was meant to be a small farming town of German and Irish immigrants for many years to come, even during the time of annexation in 1889.  It was not until the 1920s that there was interest in developing this neighborhood as Polish, Bohemian, Arabs and Lithuanians arrived.

Chicago Lawn did not suffer during the Great Depression years in the 1930s and evolved into the “Lithuanian Gold Coast” by the 1940s as this decade saw the best years for the neighborhood that had a very strong Lithuanian culture that could boast they had the richest savings and loans in the city.

Chicago Lawn, more known as Marquette Park, was one of the few neighborhoods that had an Arab community.  In the year 1948 when the Israel state was created many more Arab families migrated to Marquette Park mainly living along 63rd Street as they built many mosques and Arab businesses.

In the 1950s-decade Marquette Park had several white greaser gangs that were a part of a very tough breed.  The greasers of Marquette Park would battle with the greaser clubs of nearby Back of The Yards, Gage Park and West Englewood.

By the mid-1960s many of the greaser gangs began focusing their attention on the arrival of African Americans that planned to settled in nearby West Englewood.

Some of the white community, not just the gangs, reacted violently to the city’s plan to move African Americans into Marquette Park and Gage Park.  White supremist groups arrived in the 1960s and 1970s like the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi Party that came here to violently force blacks out.  The street gangs the “White Knights” formed in the 1970s that worked to stomp out invading blacks and black gangs that were near the Western Avenue border like Black Gangster Disciples.

In 1966 Martin Luther King led a march through Gage Park and Marquette Park to protest the segregated housing in this area; this led to him being hit with a rock.  The Black P Stones street gang escorted Dr. King and this led to fights between white greaser clubs and the Black P Stones.  At the time Black P Stones were moving into the nearby West Englewood neighborhood so ongoing gang wars would ensue after the march.

The Lithuanian culture had fears that African Americans settling in the neighborhood would depreciate the neighborhood and ruin their savings bonds that were vested in their properties; if the property values went way down their savings could be badly affected.  The settling of African Americans prompted massive white flight in many other neighborhoods which resulted in several socioeconomic problems; Lithuanians of Marquette Park feared this disinvestment would happen here.

In the later 1960s, 1970s and even into the 1980s several brawls and vicious racial attacks happened in Marquette Park as this neighborhood became the site of some of the deepest racial conflict in the later years in Chicago.

The American Nazi Party opened their Chicago headquarters in this neighborhood that was there until the 1980s but did not gain much support because the eastern European community that had experienced the horrors of the German Nazi Party during World War II had a bad taste in their mouths about anything that had to do with Nazis.  Instead the people of Marquette Park worked hard to keep their property values up fighting an economic war instead of a racial war.  Residents knew if they kept up their neighborhood it would not allow impoverished families to move in that happened to be majority black or Hispanic.  This would go on successfully until 1977.

In the year 1977 Mexican families and Palestinian families began moving into Marquette Park.  Alongside the Mexican migration came Ambrose from 18th street in Pilsen then took territory along 63rd Street.  Two Six also arrived the same year and settled on 63rd Street as well causing a violent clash between the two gangs even though they both arrived for the same purpose and that was to protect the newly arrived Mexican community.  Ambrose and Two Six became the first gangs to migrate here as they settled along 63rd.   By the later years of the decade Two Six and Ambrose became the dominating gangs besides the white power gangs.  Two Six and Ambrose had more firearms and means to protect themselves over gangs like the White Knights; however, in order to keep a lower profile Two Six and Ambrose tried to avoid as many racial conflicts as possible and instead focused on each other.

By the early 1980s Hispanic migration slowed down greatly and seemed to have stopped as the Marquette Park community remained over 90% white.  The Marquette Park community’s ability to retain the value of the community remained strong during most of the 1980s.  Two Six and Ambrose were not warring as much during this era as relations within the Folk alliance prevented much violence.  Marquette Park remained a more desirable south side community up until the year 1988.

At the end of the year 1986 Ambrose and Two Six erupted back to war because of Two Six from Little Village crashing a Ambrose party and shooting down four gang members.    Now gang violence became more common as these gangs were now back at war which made Marquette Park not seem as safe.  This was also when white flight was beginning again as the suburbs became more attractive for these families.

Beginning in the year 1988, many white families began to move out of this neighborhood especially east of California street.  White flight was slower in this community because of the Lithuanians willingness to remain but after witnessing increase drug and gang violence these people would start moving in higher volumes in the late 1980s. By this time West Englewood was a rough community full of gang activity which further discouraged east Marquette Park residents from staying here.  After these residents left black families settled in this area. This is when Black Gangster Disciples developed a very strong following on these streets which would soon lead to the BGDs becoming the biggest gang in Marquette Park.

By the late 80s, east Marquette Park began experiencing urban blight as business closed and were left abandoned.  The streets of east Marquette Park were soon slightly populated with blighted properties on just about each block.

Beginning in 1988, Ambrose and Two Six grew stronger in size as they took large portions of the community as both gangs established relations with the Black Gangster Disciples for the purpose of expanding their drug trades.  In nearby Gage Park Latin Kings moved in to established the “Crown Town” Latin Kings which became a major enemy of all Marquette Park gangs which further increased intense gang violence in this community.  During the same year of 1988 a violent party crew the Krazy Get Down Boys were formed which became a major Marquette Park installation for decades to come.  This groups fought Crown Town Latin Kings viciously then later Satan Disciples.

By the 1990 census Marquette Park was 28% Hispanic and 26% black.  The white power gangs fought their last battles in the late 80s when whites were still the majority but by 1990 these groups left the area as white flight began to escalate in the earlier 1990s.  during this time period racial conflicts between black, Hispanic and Arabs began to grow especially once the Gulf War began.  The Arab community experienced hate crimes and Arab youth began to be attacked by Hispanic and black street gangs.  Gangster Disciples, Krazy Get Down Boys, Ambrose and Two Six gave these youths a hard time leading them start their own gang called Tall Arab Posse.  The Tall Arab Posse or TAP Boys became the largest Arab gang in Chicagoland in the 1990s.  The TAP Boys were also at heavy odds with their arch rival the Krazy Get Down Boys.  The Krazy Get Down Boys were originally just a break dancing crew that started in 1988 but as they experienced conflict with Crown Town Latin Kings they evolved into a party crew in the early 90s and then a street gang in 1992 that joined the Folk alliance.  The Krazy Get Down Boys became very popular in Marquette Park.

I do not know exactly when Black Disciples came to Marquette Park but they were for sure in this community by the 1990s.  The Black Disciples would soon become the arch enemy of the Gangster Disciples on the east Marquette Park streets.

In the year 1993 the Satan Disciples settled the border of Gage Park and Marquette Park at 59th and Spaulding.  Within no time the popularity of the Satan Disciples soared as this organization recruited aggressively in Gage Park and Marquette Park.  The Satan Disciples quickly became a dominating gang in Marquette Park as they warred with Ambrose, Two Six, Krazy Get Down Boys and Crown Town Latin Kings.  The Satan Disciples would surely cause an increase in violence in this community.

By the 1990s Marquette Park became one of the more deadly Chicago neighborhoods as it became the site of many shootings and gang violence.  The 1990s was the most violent decade in this neighborhood as gang wars ran rampant.

In 1995, the Latin Souls were invited to 62nd and Sacramento by Ambrose because both gangs were dealing firearms and drugs together.  The Latin Souls would have a major war with Crown Town Latin Kings and the Party People.  The Party People arrived the same year as La Raza moved out.  Party People would battle with Ambrose and Crown Town Latin Kings.  About this same time the Party Players, City Knights and Akrohs were added to this neighborhood.  Party Players would become a permanent group.

Marquette Park still remains as one of the tougher and more violent neighborhoods in Chicago.  Marquette Park is the birthplace of the T.A.P Boys and the Krazy Getdown Boys.

In the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and most of the 1980s Marquette Park was dominated by greaser gangs and white power gangs

By the late 70s Marquette Park was also dominated by Ambrose and Two Six

In the earlier and mid-1980s Ambrose and Two Six dominated these streets along with white supremist groups. In the late 80s Two Six, Ambrose and Black Gangster Disciples dominated.

In the 1990s and 2000s Marquette Park was dominated by Ambrose, Two Six, Gangster Disciples, Satan Disciples, Black Disciples and Krazy Get Down Boys

In the 2010s up to current years Marquette Park is dominated by Ambrose, Two Six, Gangster Disciples, Satan Disciples and Black Disciples

Insane Guess Boys Early 90s only

Somewhere on 61st Street Early 90s

Akrohs Established 1995-2000s

61st & California (Ghetto Side) Established as Akrohs 1995-2000s

61st & Mozart (Gangster Side) Established as Akrohs 1995-2000s

61st & Richmond (Almighty Side) Established as Akrohs 1995-2000s

Imperial Gangsters 1988-1993

64th & Kedzie 1988-1993

63rd & Rockwell 1988-1993

Satan Disciples Established 1993-present years

59th to 60th, Trumbull to Sawyer Established 1993-present

59th to 60th, Whipple to California (5-9) Established 1993-present

71st to 72nd, Central Park Ave to Sawyer Established 1993-present

59th & Central Park Ave (Devil’s pit) Established 1993-present

60th & St. Louis

Black Disciples

63rd to 65th, Mozart to Fairfield (BSC GunnHead)

69th to 70th, California to Talman (FaceWorld Bogus Bogus)

Gangster Disciples 1988-present years

Aberdeen from 67th to 69th (Goonsville)

71st & Rockwell

Albany from 63rd to 65th (Rec City A Block)

66th to 67th, Mozart to California (Zone 6)

Rockwell from 59th to 61st (OC City)

59th to 61st, Campbell to Western

61st to 64th, Talman to Maplewood (1140 Doonsquad Scrappville)

63rd to 64th, Artesian to Western (Sam City A Block)

Campbell from 65th to 67th (Camp City)

67th to 69th, Western to Oakley (Trap Squad)

72nd to 74th, Rockwell to Western (FBC Deuce Life)

63rd & Campbell

Black P Stones 90s  only

63rd & Campbell 90s

Ambrose Established 1977-present years

60th to Marquette, Kedzie to California (Except Troy from 63rd to 64th, No Heart, Murda Town, Second City, Fran-Psycho) Established 1977-present years

Krazy Get Down Boys Established 1988-2010s

64th to 65th, Richmond to Sacramento

61st & Troy (Brother City)

69th & Rockwell (Krayzie Side)

71st & California

Latin Counts

71st & Albany

Party Players 90s-present years

65th & Spaulding

63rd to 65th, Kedzie to Sacramento (Fin Town, Trigger Town)

73rd & Homan

Party People Established 1995-present years

65th to 67th, Homan to Kedzie

Fairfield from 59th to 62nd Established 1995

Four Corner Hustlers

60th & Albany (Red Wall Street)

Two Six Established 1977-present years

63rd to 65th, Central Park Ave to Spaulding (Homicide Town) Established 1977-present years

59th to to 63rd, Campbell to Talman Established 1977-1993

67th & Kedzie

La Raza Established 

Fairfield from 59th to 61st Established

Latin Souls Established 1995-2000s

65th & Sacramento (Skinny Town) Established 1995-2000s

Tall Arabian Posse Established 1991-1999

63rd from Spaulding to Kedzie Established 1991-1999

Latin Kings

71st & Spaulding

71st & Avers





All images below are images of vacant buildings at the time of the photo.  All images are courtesy of Google Maps