Turn right on 26th Street and go west one mile to Pulaski Road (4000
West). For decades, 26th Street was South Lawndale's major shopping
district, a function it continues today for the Little Village neighborhood.
Since the 1960s, Mexican-owned businesses have replaced older Bohemian
and Polish establishments making 26th Street the city's most important
Hispanic commercial center. In addition to establishing businesses,
Mexican families have purchased homes in the neighborhood, following
a pattern established generations ago by the pioneers of "Czech
California." The Lawndale Trust and Savings Bank at 3333 W.
26th Street, founded in 1912, is the community's major financial
institution. The above photograph shows the Little Village Shopping
District at 26th and Spaulding in 1985.
Now known as "Avenida Mexico," 26th Street contains
a number of important institutions, among them the Little Village
Community Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the El Heraldo
newspaper at 3610 W. 26th Street Nearby at 2700 S. Harding are
the offices of El Manana. Chicago's daily Spanish-language newspaper,
the only one of its kind in the Midwest. The 26th Street Businessmen's
Association (of which Mayor Cermak was once a director) remains
a powerful group in the neighborhood.
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