History in Washington Park

5922 South King Drive

Jesse Binga

In 1908, businessman Jesse Binga opened a bank at 36th and State Streets to serve African Americans because white bank owners were denying them service.  After the success of the Binga Bank, he moved into an exclusively white neighborhood in which neighbors bombed his home at 5922 South King Drive five times.  But Binga and his family remained strong and opened the Binga Arcade with offices, a dance floor, and shops at 35th and State streets.  

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5936 south king drive

Lorraine Hansberry's Childhood Home

Playwright Lorraine Hansberry gained fame for becoming the first African-American woman to have a play produced on Broadway, "A Raisin in the Sun."  Hansberry was also the first African-American and youngest American playwright to win the New York Drama Critics Circle award for best play.  Hansberry lived at 5936 south king drive with her parents while attending Englewood High School, according to the Chicago Tribute Project.  

History in Washington Park
Clubs and theaters

5521 South State Street

Club Delisa

The Club DeLisa, once located at 5521 South State Street, was one of the most popular nightclubs in the African-American community of Chicago throughout almost the entirety of its existence, from its opening in 1934 to its closing in early 1958.  The club was named for the four DeLisa brothers, who collectively owned and operated it.

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343 East Garfield Boulevard

Rhumboogie Cafe

The Rhumboogie Café was a wildly popular jazz club that opened in 1940 at 343 East Garfield Boulevard and had a short, but successful reign.  Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis was rumored to have owned a substantial interest in the club, a fact which was denied by Charley Glenn, a local car dealer who was the club’s ostensible owner. 

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History in Washington Park

55th and State streets

George "Bugs" Moran

George "Bugs" Moran headed Chicago's "North Side Gang," which posed a direct challenge to Al Capone's south side outfit.  Moran's gang didn't fare too well.  On Februrary 14, 1929, at the Moran-owned S.M.C. Cartage Co. garage at 2122 North Clark Street, Capone's gang mowed down several members of Moran's gang in the gruesome gangland slaying that came to be known as The St. Valentine's Day Massacre.  

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Garfield Boulevard and State Street

North Side Gang Assassination Attempt of Al Capone

On January 12, 1925, a group of mobsters from the North Side Gang (George “Bugs” Moran, Vincent “The Schemer” Drucci, and Earl “Hymie” Weiss) attempted to kill Al Capone as revenge for the murder of their leader, Dean O’Banion. 

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