Rent a Grand Boulevard apartment and you’ll live along the route of the oldest, largest African American parade in the country. The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic promotes education and draws a truly vast number of celebrants. The boulevard of this neighborhood’s name is called Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Annexed to Chicago in 1889, Grand Boulevard used to be prairie and thick woods. The neighborhood grew with wealthy, middle- and working-class people of diverse origins. By the 1930s, African Americans—many escaping the Southern states—made up almost 95% of the population. Grand Boulevard became the hub of “Bronzeville,” a South Side African American community and cultural mecca.
Grand Boulevard has its share of reasonable restaurants and shops, but there’s not a ton of businesses around. You can find pizza places, ethnic eateries, and even a restaurant or two with live music. There are a few boutiques and places to get your groceries in this neighborhood. Armstrong Park is on 45th Street and the expansive Washington Park sits just to the south.
This neighborhood retains a few stately mansions from its earlier days. There are greystones, brick apartments, and remnants of public housing here as well. A two-bedroom in Grand Boulevard rents for an average of $1,260 a month.
Transportation options include Green Line trains on the ‘L’ stop at stations near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Dan Ryan Expressway runs along the neighborhood’s western edge.
Grand Boulevard falls within two Chicago City Council wards—the 3rd and the 4th. The Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library is on Michigan Avenue. There’s a United States Post Office on Cottage Grove Avenue. Provident Hospital of Cook County is on 51st Street.
Zip codes serving Grand Boulevard are 60609, 60615, and 60653.