The Back of the Yards/Garfield Boulevard community is located on the southwest side of Chicago. This neighborhood grew up around the former Union Stock Yards, an important establishment that earned Chicago the reputation of ‘Hog Butcher to the World’. During the century between the Civil War and the 1960’s, the Union Stock Yards were one of the most important employers in the city. Life in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood was profiled in Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle. The Union Stockyard Gate (above) still stands at Exchange Avenue and Peoria Street, as it has for over 125 years.
Today the community is a diverse blend of Irish-Americans in Canaryville, Mexican-Americans in Back of the Yards, and African Americans in Garfield Boulevard. Back of the Yards has a bustling and vibrant retail area, including both many family-owned businesses. Its renowned Ballet Folklorico has been giving the youth of the community a cultural focal point for nearly ten years. The Back of the Yard Neighborhood Council, established in 1939 by Saul Alinsky and Joseph Meegan, is considered to be one of the oldest community organizations in the United States. Active residents are taking part in block clubs, CAPS meetings, and organizations such as the Peace and Education Coalition and the Back of the Yards and New City Task force to ensure continued growth of the community. Watch the video below to learn more.
Back of the Yards Branding and Marketing Project
In order to promote this historic and diverse neighborhood, the NHS Back of the Yards (BOTY) office embarked on a rebranding campaign that will repair the damaged image of a vibrant community. In conjunction with NHS and the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, Community Design Solutions and Arnett Muldrow & Associates documented the area through research, photographs, conversations, and a series of individual, group and community meeting s with a wide range of stakeholders. They produced an impressive marketing and branding campaign that can be used by both organizations to rebrand BOTY internally and externally in a way that highlights its many positive aspects. Materials include a set of logos for BOTY and affiliated organizations, high-quality photos, banners, signage advertising and promotional materials such as hats, t-shirts, and shopping bags. Click here for the full powerpoint of Back of the Yards branding images.
The NHS Back of the Yards/Garfield Boulevard office is also home to the first NHS bilingual NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center in Chicago. Generously sponsored by COUNTRY Financial, NeighborWorks®, andPark Federal Savings Bank, COUNTRY Financial, NeighborWorks®, and Park Federal Savings Bank, it offers community classes for first time buyers as well as foreclosure intervention workshops in Spanish. LEARN MORE.
Dates for Spanish Workshop on Saturdays