Chicago streets 2: The obscure western reaches

Every good Chicagoan knows exactly what this means: Halsted, Racine, Ashland, Damen, Western, Kedzie, and they can give you the number for each one. But after that things start to get a little fuzzy. Sure, a lot of people know that 4000 W is Pulaski, and 4800 W is Cicero, but most of us are hard pressed to name the rest.

For starters, 3600 W is Central Park - which is what Garfield Park, which it runs thru, used to be called. 6000 W is Austin, the western boundary of the neighborhood of the same name, which used to be a separate town that dominated Cicero Township until the other towns in the Township won an election to eject Austin (against its citizens' wishes) from Cicero and annex it to Chicago.

5600 W is Central, which is central to nothing at all. 6800 W is Oak Park, which keeps its name when it leaves Chicago and enters Oak Park. (What is it with cities around here naming their own streets after themselves?) 7200 W is Harlem, and I cannot explain why all the white folks living out there would have picked that particular name.

4400 W is Kostner, part of a mile of streets between Pulaski and Cicero that nearly all start with the letter K. This is the eleventh mile from the Indiana border, and K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet. The pattern continues with the twelfth mile named exclusively beginning with the letter L, which explains 5200 W, Laramie. The "M" mile breaks the pattern to retain Austin, but the "N" mile resumes it by starting with Narragansett (6400 W). Following that we have Oriole (7600 W) and Pacific (8000 W). The city stopped expanding just in time, ending the regular street grid at Cumberland (8400 W). Another mile further and they would have had to figure out a whole lot of "Q" names for streets.

Here's the full list in order:
4000 W Pulaski
4400 W Kostner
4800 W Cicero
5200 W Laramie
5600 W Central
6000 W Austin
6400 W Narragansett
6800 W Oak Park
7200 W Harlem
7600 W Oriole
8000 W Pacific
8400 W Cumberland

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