Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square

Origins Settled by Conrad Sulzer in 1863 and annexed in 1889
Area Far North Side

Leavitt Street on the east, Rockwell Street on the west, Winnemac Avenue on the north, Leland Avenue on the south

Gangs headquartered Black P Stones, Latin Kings, Insane Popes (North side), Gaylords,

Conrad Sulzer was the first to build property and settle the area in the year 1836, afterward; Lincoln Square was mainly farmland in the 19th century that mainly grew pickles and celery.

In the year 1850, the first subdivision of homes was built called “Bowmanville.”  It was not until the 1900s decade that Lincoln Square became more settled as several new homes began to be built and Greek immigrants moved into the neighborhood.

In 1960 more Greek residents migrated here from the Near West Side neighborhood and opened up many stores and other Greek owned businesses.

This community was mostly gang free with just some greaser groups roaming these streets in the 1950s and 1960s.  It was not until the year 1972 when the Gaylords arrived that this community would see real gang activity.  The Gaylords were brought here to battle against Latin Kings trying to move into this community among a slight Hispanic migration wave.  Latin Kings and Gaylords became bitter enemies on these streets.

In the year 1975 a small African American migration wave came to these streets which brought about racial strife.  Black P Stones arrived here to protect victimized black youths by Gaylords and Latin Kings.  Insane Popes arrived in this community the same year to protect white youths from groups like Latin Kings and Black P Stones.  The Popes became very well-known in this neighborhood when they arrived, and this became the new headquarters of the Popes in the entire city.  Popes not only clashed with Latin Kings and Black P Stones they would also clash with Gaylords.  Gang wars became intense on these streets in the later 70s as this neighborhood became a tough one.

In the 1980s stronger gang activity continued between these four gangs until residents became upset.  Beginning in the mid-1980s, residents and police began to fight back against gangs like the Popes, Kings, Gaylords and Stones.  The program was especially against the Insane Popes.  This along with white flight caused the Popes to begin decline in the later 80s.

In the 1990s this community began heavy gentrification that progressed more as the decade continued.  This weakened gang activity greatly and in the 21st century this community completely changed and became very expensive to live in.  In the 1990s the Popes and Gaylords became underground groups not appearing on the streets actively but even into present days the Popes and Gaylords are still here.  Latin Kings and Black P Stones are the only groups that are still physically present.

In the 1970s and 1980s Gaylords, Insane Popes, Latin Kings and Black P Stones ruled these streets.

In the 1990s Black P Stones, Insane Popes and Latin Kings ruled these streets.

In the 2000s and later no gangs dominate these streets but the original four groups are still present.  Gaylords and Popes are underground while Black P Stones and Latin Kings are still active.

Lincoln Square is one of the safer neighborhoods in Chicago.

If you are among the young urban professional class you might be interested to know these gangs have walked these streets over time:

Gaylords Established 1972-present years

Seeley & Ainslie (Winnemac Park Gaylords) Established 1972-present years

Seeley & Eastwood (Fire House Gaylords) Established 1972-1985

Black P Stones Established 1975-present years

Devon to Rosemont, Bell to Hamilton Established 1975-present years

Latin Kings 70s-present years

Leland & Rockwell

Leland & Virginia 70s-present years

Montrose from Damen to Ashland (Mackville) 90s-present years

Paulina & Cullom

Argyle & Washtenaw

Montrose & Paulina

Wilson & Wolcott

Insane Popes (north side group) Established 1975-present years

Balmoral & Campbell 90s-present years

Foster & Lincoln

Gregory & Washtenaw

Lawrence to Leland, Western to California (Gross Park) Established 1975-1994

Winona & Washtenaw (2W)

Foster & Virginia (River Park)

Foster & Washtenaw Established 1990 (Budlong Schoolyard)