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Marked for Demolition in Marktown


Oak Street, Marktown

Around the turn of the last century, it became a trend among wealthy industrialists to provide planned housing for workers – an effort to Americanize and “civilize” new immigrants and maintain tight control over the labor force. George Pullman famously pioneered the approach in the South Side neighborhood that bears his name today. Experimental cast-in-place concrete houses were built for steel mill workers in Gary, Indiana. And in nearby East Chicago, Clayton Mark sought to create an idyllic and uplifting village for his own mill workers – at least, as idyllic and uplifting a village as can exist surrounded on all sides by heavy industrial plant. That place is now known as Marktown, a verdant postage stamp of a neighborhood just south of the intersection of 129th Street and Dickey Road, and its future is very much in question.

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