Roseland is one of the 77 community areas of Chicago and is located on the far south side of the city. It is comprised of the Fernwood, Princeton, Park, Lilydale, the southern most part of West Chesterfield, Rosemoor, Sheldon Heights and West Roseland neighborhoods.
he area was first settled by Dutch immigrants in the mid-1800s. They came to the area because it was higher ground than the earlier Dutch settlement south of the region in the area known as Little Calumet River, now called South Holland, IL.
Largely agrarian until the late 1800s, the community grew more industrial when the town of Pullman was built and George M. Pullman planned a modern, industrial city around the factory that manufactured his “Palace” railway coaches.
The ensuing effort brought modern brick homes that offered electricity, plumbing and gas, attracting skilled tradesmen from Europe immigrating to the area shortly thereafter.
A multi-cultural and diverse, cosmopolitan area resulted with a large population of Italian Americans east of Roseland in the Kensington neighborhood. Many came from Little Italy just west of the Chicago Loop, making Kensington the focus of South Side Italian family life.
Businesses began to spring up supporting the community and cultural and commercial landmarks like San Antonia de Padua (St. Anthony's) cathedral began to sprout up converting the largely farmland community into a community of commercial and residential properties bursting with new industry. The area had its own Michigan Avenue shopping district.
As was the case with many other South Side communities at the time, the gradual loss of factories from the area took its toll on the economy and shuttered mills and plants led to a rapid ethnic flight.
The well known mural, "I Welcome Myself to a New Place: Roseland Pullman Mural" by artists Olivia Gude, Jon Pounds, and Marcus Jefferson in 1988, was created in an effort to unite the predominantly African American community of Roseland.
Today, community leaders work to restore economic opportunity to the community of Roseland, launching educational efforts along with job stimulus programs and initiatives to decrease resulting crime in the area.