Logan Square: Bucktown
Logan Square: Bucktown

Logan Square: Bucktown

Origins Annexed c. 1863
Area North Side

Diversey Avenue on the north, Bloomingdale Avenue on the south, Chicago River on the east, Western Avenue on the west

Gangs founded Insane Unknowns, Latin Panthers Organization,
Gangs headquartered Spanish Lords, Latin Panthers Organization,

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 began building farms on the land.  The community became known as the town of “Jefferson” as of 1850 with the exception of 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 a little but hard times were still present and low rent in the deteriorated structures became a feasible living scenario for the migrating Puerto Ricans by 1969.

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 leading to the formation of Puerto Rican gangs such as the Unknown Souls that would eventually evolve into the notorious Insane Unknowns street gang.  Other Puerto Rican clubs like the Spanish Lords would cross over into Bucktown to battle roving greaser groups like the 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.

The 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were very violent years for Bucktown as gang wars ripped through these streets.  High crime and drug trafficking became common activities in this community until yuppies began to move in and purchase property then fix it up in the 1980s.

By the 1990s, Bucktown was begging to transition into a community with higher value and the gangs were being pushed out of the area.  In the 1990s the Gaylords, Taylor Jouster, P.V.Ps and Warlords left the area.

In the 2000s Bucktown had almost completely transitioned as now the yuppies had conquered this area and the Insane Unknowns left the area.  Only groups of Spanish Lords remain in the area presently.  Bucktown is now one of the safer communities in Chicago.