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Grand Boulevard — Washington Park Tour: Sites M & N
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Site M
Turn left and go north on King Drive to Garfield Boulevard (55th Street). King Drive forms the western boundary of Washington Park, which stretches from 51st to 60th Streets. Originally planned as a suburban retreat, the park provided much-needed open space for apartment dwellers in the adjoining Grand Boulevard and Washington Park communities. Since the 1920s Washington Park has also served as the boundary line between Chicago's Black Belt and Hyde Park and Kenwood. While the University of Chicago played a crucial role in maintaining Kenwood and Hyde Park as integrated communities, its influence did not extend across Cottage Grove Avenue into the Grand Boulevard and Washington Park neighborhoods.

The first all-black park in Chicago, Washington Park is the scene of the annual Bud Billiken Parade, the city's oldest neighborhood parade. As a young black reporter on the Chicago Defender. Willard Motley wrote a weekly column in the early 1920s under the name "Bud Billiken." So great was the appeal of this Buddha-like comic figure that Defender editor Robert S. Abbott named the parade Bud Billiken. Nearly twenty years after the parade had become an established institution. Motley achieved critical acclaim for his novel, Knock on Any Door.

Site N
Turn west onto Garfield Boulevard and continue three-quarters of a mile to the Dan Ryan Expressway. This section of Garfield Boulevard once contained major businesses such as the Wanzer Milk Company and the Schulze Baking Company. In an area plagued by high unemployment and crime, the Butternut Bread Company remains as one of the few large businesses in the old Black Belt. It occupies the white terra-cotta building at 40 E. Garfield Boulevard, which was constructed in 1914 by the Schulze Baking Company.

The above photograph shows the Schulze Baking Company building in 1985. John Ahlschlager designed this imposing terra-cotta structure in 1914 for Chicago's largest wholesale concern. Known throughout the country as the home of Butter-Nut Bread, this building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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