Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : K-Town


Residents of North Lawndale Community Area sometimes refer to the western part of their neighborhood as “K-Town” because so many street names there begin with the letter K. For several miles west of Pulaski Road there are stretches of north-south streets all starting with the same letter. This naming practice arose because of the annexations of 1889, which brought approximately 133 square miles and many duplicate street names within Chicago's boundaries. John D. Riley, superintendent of the city's Bureau of Maps, prepared a plan in which each mile west of the Indiana-Illinois border was assigned a successive letter of the alphabet, starting with A; streets within each mile were to begin with that letter. The city council rejected the proposal for the eastern sections of the city, but did apply it to some western streets in 1913. K-Town thus marks the eleventh mile from the Indiana state line.