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Back of the Yards


Stockyards Industrial Park at Ashland Avenue and 43rd Street, Chicago.

Back of the Yards is an industrial and residential neighborhood named after the former Union Stock Yards, which employed thousands of European immigrants in the early 20th century. Life in the Back of the Yard neighborhood was explored in Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle, which portrayed the harsh conditions facing immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities — exploited by the Industrial Age. New City — one of Chicago’s 77 official community areas — contains the neighborhoods of Back of the Yards and Canaryville.


Union Stockyards Gate near Exchange Avenue and Peoria Street, Chicago.

Some time after the 1970s, when the stockyard operations closed and the number of nearby jobs decreased, many people left to move to newer housing and work in the suburbs. The population of the neighborhood gradually reflected a new wave of settlement, predominantly Mexican-American.


Chicago fire house at 4401 South Ashland Avenue — home of Engine 49, Truck 33, Ambulance 68, Command Van 2-7-4 (5th District), Rehab Unit 5-7-1 in New City (Back of the Yards).



See also …

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Union Stock Yard Gate

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