Summary

Polish Downtown is Chicago's oldest Polish settlement and was the capital of American Polonia from the 1870s through the first half of the 20th century. Nearly all Polish undertakings of any consequence in the U.S. during that time either started or were directed from this part of Chicago's near northwest side. This book illustrates the first 75 years of this influential Polish neighborhood. Featured are some of the most beautiful churches in Chicago-St. Stanislaus Kostka, Holy Trinity, and St. John Cantius-stunning examples of Renaissance and Baroque Revival architecture that form part of the largest concentration of Polish parishes in Chicago. The headquarters for almost every major Polish organization in America were clustered within blocks of each other, and four Polish-language daily newspapers were published here. The heart of the photographic collection in this book is from the extensive library and archives of the Polish Museum of America, still located in the neighborhood.