The MLK Memorial District
The MLK Memorial District is a 4-acre site that was birth in 2009 with involvement from: City of Chicago, The Westside Federation, Chicago Historical Museum, Chicago Youth Centers (Dr. King Home and Historic District Task Force), Artist Paul Collins, Artist Theaster Gates and the North Lawndale community.
 
 
 

Dr. King's Legacy Celebrated in Chicago
January 13, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day just over a week away, celebrations of his legacy took place Sunday night. Some of those include memories of Dr. King's work here in Chicago.

It's been nearly 50 years since Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech called for an end to racism in the United States. Much has changed since then.

[Click here to continue this story.]
 

 

MLK Legacy Apartment Complex
In April 2011 the MLK Legacy Apartment Complex celebrated its
grand opening with Executive Director, Kim Jackson, Mayor Richard
M. Daley, Congressman Danny Davis, Cook County Board President
Toni Preckwinckle, Senator Dick Durbin, State Rep Arthur Turner,
Alderman Sharon Dixon, Dr. John Perkins, Pastor Wayne Gordan,
Joel Bookman (LISC), Mary Dempsey (Illinois Housing Development Authority), Rev. Marshall Hatch, Rev. Randall Harris, Rev. Richard
Nelson and a host of others.


In 2009 the area received funding support from Harris Bank to produce a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King for the Historic District.

 
 
MLK Historic District includes:
Dr. King Legacy Apartments
The Dr. King Legacy Apartment Complex is a 45-unit, green, quality affordable residential and commercial property located at
1550 S. Hamlin, built in 2011, in the exact location where Dr. King resided in 1966 when he moved to Chicago to advocate for fair housing. This building houses 45 families, has four commercial spaces at its base, balconies for each unit and enclosed parking. Complete with green technology and a green roof, the building provides residents with the structure, look and feel of a “Down Town” property in their own North Lawndale neighborhood.
 
 
 
The MLK Fair Housing Exhibit Center
The MLK Fair Housing Exhibit Center is a museum honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is quest to affordable, quality housing for those in Chicago and other communities. Dr. King moved to North Lawndale in 1966 to launch the “Action Phase” of his agenda. The Chicago Campaign was focused on demonstrating about racism as a national issue. He also came to Chicago to show the deplorable living conditions of poverty-stricken African Americans in the urban north. He also showed how the segregation of housing in northern cities unfairly impacted African Americans. The exhibit center is located in the corner unit of the Dr. King Legacy Apartment Complex and is scheduled to open mid-2013.
 
 
 
Roots Café
Roots Café is located in the Dr. King Legacy Apartment Complex. Roots Café’s mission is to provide healthy food choices by day and economic development training and technical assistance by night. Roots will provide healthy food choices through dine-in and carry-out, breakfast, brunch and lunch services, in what is now a food desert, for those families and individuals who, live, work and visit in North Lawndale. Through Roots, LCDC also plans to provide economic development through job creation for those unemployed, underemployed and hard to employ. A part of the economic development plan also includes entrepreneurship training for low-income, small existing culinary business owners in the North Lawndale community. Roots Café is located adjacent to the MLK Fair Housing Exhibit Center. Café guests will be able to access the exhibit center through adjoining doors. Roots is opening in mid-2013.
 
 
 
St. Anthony Wellness Center
The St. Anthony Wellness Center has a goal of providing affordable health care to low-income residents in North Lawndale on a sliding scale. They partnered with the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation to lease a space at the Dr. King Legacy Apartments in November 2012 and support multiple programs in the north Lawndale community, including the new Roots Café, also located at the site.
 
 
 
Fresh Moves
In June 2011, Fresh Moves, a Chicago non-profit, launched its one-aisle grocery store on board a donated Chicago Transit Authority bus, and currently serves Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods. Fresh Moves partnered with Lawndale Christian Development Corporation to lease commercial space at the King Legacy Apartment Complex, a way to provide fresh produce to residents in North Lawndale.

Initiatives like Fresh Moves, designed to help improve the diet of people living in neighborhoods where quality fresh foods are hard to obtain, have been quite literally “popping up” all over the country. This summer, several temporary and mobile pop-up markets will set up shop in so-called food deserts — low-income areas that are more than a mile away from the nearest grocery store —
to sell mangoes, melons, lettuces, onions and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
 
 
 
Peace Path
If you look hard enough at the photo you can see the word PEACE spelled out in the pavement. It is a horticultural project supported by The City of Chicago, BMO Harris Bank, MB Bank, LISC and many other community and faith-based organizations. The Peace Path is a testament to the hard work and commitment that Lawndale Christian Development Corporation has put into beautifying the community. As a lead agency in Mayor’s task force for safer communities and the City’s New Communities Program, LCDC recognizes that block-by-block beautification can lead to safer communities. Residents of North Lawndale take pride in the area around 16th and Hamlin, and beautifying their own properties, largely because of the work to galvanize them around the common goals of keeping the community clean and safe. The Peace Path is located across the street from the Dr. King Legacy Apartments.
 
 
 
Cornerstone Chicago Center for Technology and Arts (CCCAT)
Cornerstone Chicago Center for Arts and Technology (CCCAT) is a training and social enterprise startup that will transform four economically disadvantaged Chicago Westside communities and 19 low-moderate income neighborhoods, by providing free skills training and a comprehensive set of social services that will increase college matriculation, economic development and skilled employment, in the targeted neighborhoods. Based on a 40-year-old model developed by Bill Strickland, Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC), in Pittsburgh, the program is built on three pillars – After-school arts programs for youth; Adult education and job training in an environment that inspires success--- that is now being replicated around the country and internationally.

CCCAT will educate, empower and employ underserved youth and adults to positively transform themselves, their communities and the world. It offers an innovative approach to education, seeking to bring back credibility and legitimacy to the fabric of urban communities. It connects to other institutions, employers, public schools, social service organizations and political systems by training under- or unemployed adults and providing applied and experiential learning through the arts for "at-risk" youth. Learning & Training will be provided in: HealthCare, Horticulture and Certified Prep in Advance Manufacturing.

The MLK Memorial District will also house a new Chicago Public Library and a new campus park in conjunction with Penn Elementary School.