Andersonville

Great Lakes Clinical Trials is located in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, approximately 15 minutes north of Chicago's downtown "Loop" and 25 minutes east of O'Hare International Airport.

Andersonville and the surrounding communities on the north side of Chicago, are home to more than 400,000 residents.  Public transportation is convenient with numerous bus routes along North Ashland Avenue, North Clark Street, North Broadway, North Sheridan Road and West Foster Avenue.  In addition, the Chicago Transit Authority's subway (the "L")  has local red line stations at both Berwyn Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue.

Once a sleepy little village made up primarily of Swedish immigrants, the community is particularly known for its diversity, including a continued Swedish cultural presence led by the Swedish American Museum (www.swedishamericanmuseum.org), the Swedish Bakery (www.swedishbakery.com) and other Swedish businesses.  A significant number of Middle-Eastern businesses and new influx of families with children all make this a very diverse population. Andersonville is also known for its unique commercial district, made up almost entirely of a variety of independent locally owned specialty shops, restaurants, and service providers.

History of Andersonville

Andersonville’s roots as a community extend well back into the 19th century, when immigrant Swedish farmers started moving north into what was then a distant suburb of Chicago. In the 1850′s the area north of Foster and east of Clark was a large cherry orchard, and families had only begun to move into the fringes of what is now Andersonville. The neighborhood’s first school, the Andersonville School, was built in 1854 at the corner of those two thoroughfares, and served as the area’s primary school until 1908.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, wooden homes were outlawed in Chicago. Swedish immigrants, who could not afford to build homes of stone or brick, began to move outside of the city’s northern limits. Swedish immigrants continued to arrive in Andersonville through the beginning of the 20th century, settling in the newly built homes surrounding Clark Street. Before long, the entire commercial strip was dominated by Swedish businesses, from delis to hardware stores, shoe stores to blacksmiths, and bakeries to realty companies. The local churches, such as Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Bethany Methodist Episcopal Church, and St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church, were also built by Swedes, and reflected the religious diversity of the new arrivals.

Like most other European-American ethnic groups, Swedes began to move to the suburbs during the Depression and post-war periods, and the neighborhood began to decline. Concerned about the deteriorating commercial situation, the Uptown Clark Street Business Association renewed its commitment to its Swedish heritage by renaming itself the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. On October 17, 1964 Andersonville was rededicated in a ceremony attended by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Illinois Governor Otto Kerner. At about the same time, the annual Swedish tradition of celebrating the summer solstice blossomed into Midsommarfest, which has since grown into one of Chicago’s largest and most popular street festivals.

Find out more at andersonville.org.