Created By: National Public Housing Museum
At this first destination, you’ll hear about how the McCormick Theological Seminary and the Young Lords faced off in 1969, leading to a huge economic victory for the underserved Black and Brown communities of Lincoln Park. Interested in learning more? Follow along below to learn about the McCormick Theological Center and its place in the Young Lords' organizing.
The McCormick Theological Seminary, which is now located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood was originally located in Lincoln Park. From 1859 through the rest of the century, the seminary was able to grow in size, due to generous contributions from Cyrus and Nettie McCormick, where the seminary would acquire its name.
At its height, the seminary contained academic buildings and a variety of housing, but a vast majority of the buildings were demolished during the 1960s, with some rowhouses and one professor’s house, located now at 835 Chalmers, being the only remaining buildings from that time period.
As these changes in Lincoln Park were occurring, José Cha Cha Jiménez, a political activist and the founder of the Young Lords Organization, began reshaping how street gangs interacted with their broader community.
During his younger years, Jiménez, born on August 8, 1948, was a part of the Puerto Rican street gang the Young Lords, which was established in order to protect new Puerto Rican immigrants from other street gangs in the area. However, by 1968 Jiménez shifted the Young Lords to focus on human rights issues, including racism, police brutality, economic injustice, and housing inequity. Jiménez and the Young Lord also established breakfast programs, health centers, and other community-centered programs, to fill in the gaps in services left by the city.
Source: Chaves, Patty. “Into the Archives | Sections | DePaul University Newsline | DePaul University, Chicago.” Into the Archives | Sections | DePaul University Newsline | DePaul University, Chicago, 25 Oct. 2018, resources.depaul.edu/newsline/sections/into-the-archives/Pages/Fine-neighbors.aspx.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Stories from the Redline: Fire Fire Gentrifier