The South Chicago neighborhood, which has an area of 3.34 square miles, is a vibrant community located about 10 miles southeast of the Loop along Lake Michigan near the mouth of the Calumet River.
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a South Chicago steel manufacturing plant and renamed it South Works. South Works prospered during the first half of the century and was the South Side’s largest employer, employing approximately 20,000 people and covering nearly 600 square acres of land during its peak. Beginning around the time of WWI, South Works and other steel mills drew many African American, Mexican, Polish and Italian immigrants to South Chicago. During its heyday, South Works produced steel used in the John Hancock Center, the Sears Tower, the Standard Oil Building and many other Chicago skyscrapers, as well as in structures around the country. The thriving steel industry helped lead to the development of a successful business area on Commercial Avenue and 92nd Street.
In the 1800s, the proximity of the Calumet River led to the development and growth of steel, grain, railroad and lumber industries in the South Chicago area, which was originally known as Ainsworth. During that century, work in those industries drew immigrants from various countries, including Ireland, Sweden, Scotland, Wales and Germany, to South Chicago. In 1901, U.S. Steel took over