St. Fidelis

Chicago IL 60622

Humboldt Park/St. Fidelis
Chicago Cultural Alliance
Written By Chicago Cultural Alliance

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During the height of Polish settlement here, this area was known as “Fidelisowo,” or "the area served by St. Fidelis’ parish."

It is difficult to underestimate the centrality of the parish in the Poles' lives at the time. Parishes were not only important units of organization for the Catholic Dioceses of Chicago, but they also formed the basis of Polish-Chicago identity.

Post-WWII marked the dispersal of European-heritage communities from this area out into the suburbs.

First, many returning GIs of European descent were using their access to the VA mortgages to purchase homes in the quickly expanding suburbs.

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The expressways were also constructed during this time period, and this greatly shifted people's abilities to access both employment and housing in areas outside of the neighborhood.

Finally there were also practices of redlining and “block busting,” which often occurred along racial lines. "Block busting" divided communities and forced many to relocate, or otherwise denied access to homeownership.

The building itself was purchased in 1926 from an Evangelical Lutheran/Norwegian congregation (but closed and torn down in 2006).

Cover photo credit idpmilaciudadcelestial via Instagram.

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