North Lawndale has long been an important neighborhood in Chicago. Once the home of Chicago Jewish community, by the 1950, African Americans were moving in and whites fled.

The Chicago Public Library has extensive archives on Lawndale as does the Library of Congress' American Memory site (search for Lawndale). Chapin Hall, at the University of Chicago, keeps statistics on children and the Chicago Area Website keeps housing data.

The Conservative Vice Lords were the most prominent gang in the area, replacing the older Egyptian Cobras

Lawndale has seen its share of disasters. The 1968 riots destroyed 160 buildings and left Lawndale devastated. The 1995 "heat wave" resulted in 19 deaths in North Lawndale, but only in South Lawndale or Little Village.

North Lawndale
(adapted from the Steans Family Foundation)

In the 1990s, gentrification crept into North Lawndale, though for current residents conditions just got worse. Homicide rates were among the highest in the city, though, like the city as a whole, murders dropped in 2004.