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Historic Structures of

East Chicago, Indiana

Apartments and Public Buildings

Despite its name, East Chicago (pop. 33,892) is not a part of Chicago; in fact, it is not even adjacent to Chicago. It is actually in Indiana, several miles southeast of Chicago, separated from Chicago and the Illinois-Indiana border by the city of Hammond.

A port city on Lake Michigan, East Chicago is the site of blast furnaces, rolling mills, and oil refineries. The construction of the Indiana Harbor ship Canal, as well as the steel mills, attracted dozens of industries in the early 20th century. Recently, its economy has had to diversify due to the closing or downsizing of several industrial plants.

Many foreign-born workers were attracted to the city during its industrial expansion, drawn by the multitude of low-skilled industrial jobs and the opportunity to build a better life. Workers from Western and Eastern Europe, Ireland, Germany, Greece and other countries flocked to the area. Later they were joined by an influx of Mexican workers.

East Chicago is today the home of a popular marina, as well as several important historic religious and commercial structures, including the First National Bank and Trust Co., which gained notoriety in 1934 when it was robbed by John Dillinger, the Calumet Trust and Savings Bank, and the St. Nicholas Romanian Catholic Church (1913), one of the city's oldest religious structures.


East Chicago, Indiana Apartment

Original front doors are still on this building.


East Chicago, Indiana Apartment

Apartment building on 138th 


East Chicago, Indiana Apartment garages

Close-up of the integrated garages on this apartment building (a new driveway was being put in at time of picture).


East Chicago, Indiana Apartment

Building of unusual window design. These windows are apparently original to the building.


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