Greater Grand Crossing, the neighborhood just west of South Shore, acquired its name from an early railroad crossing for lines including the Illinois Central and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad. Today, it is an attractive residential area with some alluring restaurants and shopping.
Many of the neighborhood’s commercial attractions are clustered on a stretch of 75th Street just east of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive called “Renaissance Row” because of the area's commercial revitalization. Spots like Lem’s BBQ, Brown Sugar Bakery, and Café Trinidad are local favorites worth paying a visit. And before closing its doors in August 2011, Army & Lou's cooked up quality soul food at 75th Street and Vernon Avenue for more than 65 years serving patrons that included Dr. King and Mayor Harold Washington.
The Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood has an interesting backstory. Like its neighboring South Shore, Greater Grand Crossing got its big boost as a developing neighborhood from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held just a mile north in Jackson Park. The White City Amusement Park, inspired by and named for the fair, was in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood around 67th Street and Calumet Avenue until 1933. The region’s rich history is eternalized by Oak Woods Cemetery at 71st Street just east of the Chicago Skyway. At rest here are Mayor Harold Washington, Olympic star Jesse Owens, Cubs Hall of Fame player and manager Adrian "Cap" Anson and, with their own hill, thousands of prisoners of war in the North's largest Confederate burial ground.
Sources: Encyclopedia of Chicago, City of Chicago website, Wikipedia
Tess McKenzie knows firsthand the power of small business loans to create jobs and improve communities. In 2002, McKenzie launched her All About Kids day care facility and saw it grow to serve more than 60 children and employ eight people. In 2010, she added two more classrooms and created five more jobs.
For Corey Britt, the founder and owner of Fresh Start Day Care Center in Chicago, a partnership with Urban Partnership Bank is literally opening new doors for his business.
Two years ago, Urban Partnership Bank helped found the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative to increase “the representation of Latinos and African Americans, at all levels within Chicago’s financial industry”. On July 14th, over 200 interns and professionals from across Chicago’s financial industry filled a conference room at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for the Initiative's third annual Summer Intern Career Conference.