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Grand Boulevard — Washington Park Tour: Sites A & B
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Site A
St. Charles Lwanga Church at Garfield Boulevard and Wentworth is the oldest institution in the area. When it was founded in 1869 as St. Anne's parish, this area was only sparsely populated. In a few years, however, it was built up by railroad employees who worked in the nearby Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific car shops. Irish Catholics financed the present Gothic structure (1875-80). In keeping with its status as a "boulevard church," a limestone facade was added to the brick exterior in the 1920s. Although the neighborhood to the east became part of Chicago's black community after 1919, St. Anne remained a white parish until the 1940s. In a sharp break with tradition, St. Anne parish changed its name in 1971 to reflect its identity as a black institution. The parish commemorates St. Charles Lwanga, the first black African martyr in the Catholic Church.

Site B
Midway Liquors building at 5500 S. State Street was one of the first brick buildings constructed in the area following the extension of the cable car line to 63rd Street in Englewood in the late 1880s. State Street was the boundary line between the towns of Lake and Hyde Park until 1889, when both areas were annexed to Chicago. The new cable line transformed State Street from "a succession of sand hills and mud ponds" into one of the city's most important thoroughfares. The resulting building boom filled up the "long sweeps of prairie" with brick flat buildings, which in turn hastened the creation of a modern urban neighborhood.

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