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Images of America: Portage Park


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Pictorial and Narrative History of the Portage Park Neighborhood in Chicago, IL.

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In Chicago, it has long been common knowledge that the neighborhoods have been overshadowed by the Loop’s luster. Portage Park is one of these hidden gems, offering up a wealth of history, culture, and art. As the site of a lesser-known Chicago Portage, the largest retail district outside the Loop at Six Corners, the visual backdrop of movies such as My Life and The Color of Money, and the spot where both Abraham Lincoln and John Dillinger legendarily stayed and the sister of the czar of Bulgaria prayed, this corner of Chicago has seen its share of glitz and glory. Discover Portage Park’s architectural treasures, whether it is in its place as a part of Chicago’s Bungalow Belt, its wealth of notable buildings spanning different genres and time periods, or its beautiful churches and grand movie palaces. An area diverse in culture, many peoples, beginning with Native Americans and going onto the Yankees, Irish, Scandinavians, eastern Europeans, and even a Tibetan lama, have made Portage Park their home, each adding their own unique contribution to the vibrant cultural landscape. The site of the largest concentration of Chicago’s legendary Polish population, it is also the place where immigrants left the inner city’s ethnic enclaves to take part in the American dream.


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