The 606: Immigrant Stories and Connections - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

The 606: Immigrant Stories and Connections

Elevate your perspective on the historical origins of the people that built the former industrial rail line and helped shape the surrounding neighborhoods.

Join us for a dynamic evening discussion centered on the immigrant experience along what today is known as The 606. Germans, Scandinavians, Poles, Jews, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, African Americans, and others all settled along the former rail line as it stretched from Ridgeway east to Ashland Avenue.

Historian and author Dominic Pacyga will discuss the origin of the trail and how it impacted the development of the various neighborhoods tied together by what was once a busy railroad line and today is one of the most innovative green spaces in Chicago.

In addition to flexing our urban history muscles, we’ll enjoy a light buffet of foods representing the patchwork of ethnic groups that helped build and currently make up the communities around the trail. Sample favorites such as plantains, arroz con gandules, smørrebrod and pierogis. Should you want to explore the area further on your own, Field Agent Bonnie Tawse will be on hand to share the names some of her favorite nearby gems, including a watering hole with skee ball, a tiny but mighty churro joint, a star gazing spot, an extensive graffiti garden and more.

This event will take place at the Quilombo Cultural Center, a community capoeira studio, which sits overlooking The 606 and resides within the Kimball Arts Center, a former bathtub factory that is also home to Manual Cinema, Opera-Matic and Archery Bow Range Chicago.

About Dominic Pacyga

Dominic A. Pacyga received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has authored six books concerning Chicago’s history including Slaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made (2015), Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago (1991, 2001), Chicago: City of Neighborhoods with Ellen Skerrett (1986), Chicago: A Historical Guide to the Neighborhoods (1979) with Glen Holt, and Chicago’s Southeast Side (1998) with Rod Sellers.  Pacyga is currently working on a study of Polish Chicago, which will be published by the University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2019.


  • Quilombo Cultural Center is inside the Kimball Arts Center, which is located at 1757 N. Kimball Ave. The #82 Kimball-Homan bus stops out front.
  • There is limited parking in the Kimball Arts Center parking lot. Street parking is available on Kimball Ave.
  • The event is ADA accessible.
  • This event is open to all ages.
  • This ticket is not refundable, but you can transfer it to someone else by using this handy Eventbrite tutorial.


Email Joie Mikitson at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.