Thursday, October 20, 2016

Where is Leo High School?

79th and Sangamon, right? On the South Side of Chicago, right? Well, sure, but is that considered Englewood or Auburn Gresham?

Now, I know what you're thinking: Who cares? Well, actually, I do. Yesterday I wrote that Leo was in the Englewood neighborhood and one of my readers corrected me.* He said it was actually in Gresham. Not only do I want to set the record straight, but I'm also a bit of an amateur Chicago geography buff. So which is it, Englewood or Gresham?

Well, let's start with this: I got Englewood from Leo's Wikipedia page. (That's pretty much the extent of my research staff.) The first sentence reads (all emphasis mine):

Leo Catholic High School is an all-male Catholic high school in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States.

But if you click on the Englewood link you'll find:

Englewood is bordered by Garfield Boulevard to the north, 75th Street to the south, Western Avenue to the west, and State Street to the east. 

So if Leo's address is 7901 S. Sangamon Street that's beyond the southern border -- 75th Street -- of Englewood. But what neighborhood is that, Auburn Gresham? Yep, this map proves it. Leo High School is definitely in Auburn Gresham. I stand corrected.

And, yet, why does Leo's Wikipedia page say it's in Englewood? Well, maybe this article in DNAinfo Chicago, "Where Does Englewood Begin and End?," will shed some light:

Neighborhood boundaries are often up for debate because the lines can get a bit fuzzy.

Greater Englewood is so large that when DNAinfo Chicago launched an interactive Web app, asking readers to share what they thought were the boundaries of the neighborhood, many had different ideas.

Some drew Englewood ending at King Drive on the east, Western on the West and 79th Street on the South. Close, but that's not accurate.

Looking at the map, it’s obvious that people know where Greater Englewood is on a community map, but there was some uncertainty on the cutoff.

Asiaha Butler, president of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, or RAGE, said people like her who grew up in Englewood know the boundaries. It’s those from the outside that get it wrong.

I think people not familiar with the area say Auburn Gresham is Englewood, sometimes they say New City is Englewood,” she said. “That’s fine they want to expand us, but [Greater Englewood] is pretty big already.”

Oops; I guess that would be me. (And the author of Leo's Wikipedia page.) I got it now: Leo is in Auburn Gresham.

* He also corrected me on who is the winningest football coach in Loyola history. I've since changed it.

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