Bronzeville has a rich history as the center of Chicago's African American community and culture. Since its establishment in the early 1900s, the residents of Bronzeville have included some of the city's most famous and influential African Americans. From professional athletes to musicians to political leaders, this south side Chicago neighborhood has had its share of celebrated citizens, like baseball player Andrew Rube Foster who helped form the Negro National League (when sports were still segregated). Leading civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells also lived in Bronzeville. In fact, you can still visit her house today. Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks is also from this Chicago community and trumpet-playing jazz sensation Louis Armstrong once graced many nightclubs in the area.
Bronzeville boasts nine designated Chicago Landmarks, including six that are on the National Register of Historic Places. These vintage structures include the Chicago Bee Building, where the popular Chicago Bee newspaper was published during the 1930s and '40s, and the Victory Monument, where residents gather each year for a Memorial Day ceremony. Add to that list the Overton Hygienic Building, Wabash Avenue YMCA, Unity Hall and Eighth Regiment Armory and you could spend an entire day just touring Bronzeville's well-preserved architectural treasures. Actually, guided tours of Bronzeville are available throughout the year, offering a captivating view of this historical Chicago district.
Walking around a neighborhood for hours can work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, Bronzeville's dining options are plentiful and delicious, serving up some of Chicago's tastiest soul-food menus and best southern cooking this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. To start, fuel up on fair-trade java and upbeat tunes at Bronzeville Coffee House. From there, hungry diners can move on to Glady's Luncheonette for some chicken and biscuits doused in thick gravy with a heaping side of sweet potatoes. Saving room for dessert at this spot is certainly a challenge, but you just can't pass up the restaurant's made-from-scratch peach cobbler. Those who like a little dinner music with their meal should check out the jazzy Cajun and Caribbean-inspired Blu 47. With a menu full of gourmet items like goat cheese croquettes and crabmeat-stuffed Bayou catfish, it's the perfect end to a delightful day.
Many of the homes in Bronzeville boast just as much 1920s charm as their surrounding historical landmarks. The neighborhood's residential blocks are lined with Victorian-style homes, vintage brownstones and stately townhomes. A small one-bedroom condo can range anywhere from the low $100,000s to a newer construction unit in the $400,000s, depending on how much space and modernity a home buyer wants. Townhouses with three bedrooms typically cost between $400,000 and the upper $600,000s in Bronzeville. But if you're looking for a steal, check out the older detached single-family properties, these usually cost less than the rehabbed places and will give you a chance to refurbish the home to exactly your style.