Mount Greenwood

Mount Greenwood in Chicago

Mount Greenwood, a community area in Chicago, offers a unique blend of history, demographics, economy, and transportation. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the area, drawing insights from multiple sources to present a comprehensive picture.


Mount Greenwood is one of the 77 community areas in Chicago. Located approximately 14 miles southwest of the Loop, it is surrounded by neighborhoods such as Beverly and Morgan Park to the east, and the suburbs of Evergreen Park to the north, Oak Lawn to the west, and Merrionette Park and Alsip to the south. The area is known for housing many of Chicago’s firefighters, police officers, and union workers.

Historical Background

Early Settlement and Naming

German and Dutch farmers settled in the mid-nineteenth century, making Mount Greenwood their home. The area got its name in 1879 when George Washington Waite, a surveyor, platted an eighty-acre land grant that he had received from the federal government.

Dry Area Movement and Incorporation

In the late 19th century, the area saw the emergence of saloons, which led to a movement to turn Mount Greenwood into a “dry area”. However, a group of citizens successfully campaigned to incorporate Mount Greenwood as a village to prevent this. In 1927, the community voted to be annexed into Chicago to receive better services4.

Infrastructure and Urban Development

The promised infrastructure took longer to arrive due to the Great Depression. It wasn’t until 1936 when the Works Progress Administration installed sewers. Despite being annexed by Chicago, the area maintained a character similar to nearby city-suburbs.

Mount Greenwood Chicago

The Last Farm in Chicago

Mount Greenwood was home to the last farm in Chicago, owned by Peter Ouwenga until the mid-1980s. The farm was sold to the Chicago Public School system, who built the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences on the land.


The area spans approximately two square miles and is bounded by eight cemeteries. Its approximate borders are 103rd Street to the north, 117th Street to the south, Pulaski Road to the west, and Sacramento Avenue to the east. The area consists mostly of single-family residential housing, most of which was built between 1940 and 1970.


Mount Greenwood’s economy is mainly driven by sectors such as public administration, education, healthcare, retail trade, and accommodation and food service. A significant portion of residents are City of Chicago employees.


Mount Greenwood is serviced by several Metra stations on the Rock Island District line. Nearly 90% of commuters in the area drive to work.

Schools and Libraries

The area is home to a number of educational institutions, including Saint Xavier University, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and several Catholic elementary and high schools. Mount Greenwood also has its own branch of the Chicago Public Library.


Mount Greenwood has 2.8 acres of park land per 1,000 residents. The Mount Greenwood Park includes a fieldhouse, a swimming pool, a soft surface playground, and a refrigerated ice skating rink for winter recreation.

Notable Residents

The neighborhood has been home to several notable individuals, including Sheriff of Cook County Tom Dart, CME Group chairman and CEO Terrence A. Duffy, Cook County Board of Commissioners member Bridget Gainer, and authors John R. Powers and Norman J. Kansfield.

Mount Greenwood is a community steeped in history and rich in culture. Despite its challenges, the area has maintained a strong sense of community and continues to thrive. Its strong Irish influence, robust economy, and commitment to education make it a unique part of Chicago’s landscape.

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