LeClaire Courts started life out as the first project housing to be built by the Chicago Housing Authority back in the late 1940s. Over time, the entire area became overrun with gangs, drugs, and violence. In 2006, the CHA razed the whole neighborhood to make way for a community of mixed-family housing, a new school, and more. Today, LeClaire still shows signs of bygone days in large green areas where the high-rise projects once stood. However, there are sizeable areas of single and multi-family homes with large suburban yards and streets lined with sidewalks, trees, and plenty of grass for your dog to walk on. There several parks, pet stores, and groomers within easy driving distance and you are conveniently close to the Midway Airport. For those with young children, Hearst Elementary School lies within the community's boundaries along with a number of businesses and places to grab a bite to eat.
If you stand at one end of W. 46th St. and look down the street, you can see all the way to the other end of the community. Flat is just another word for LeClaire Courts. If, of course, you are just getting started walking your pooch, then the terrain here is just the ticket. The same applies to those with butterballs that need some extra exercise. While flat ground doesn't seem like it might be much of a challenge, the trick is to make every walk a little different. Change the directions you set out, pick different blocks to go around, spend some time playing in the parks, and explore the community to get just the right amount of exercise. Of course, like much of Chicago, you are only a short drive away from the beaches of Lake Michigan where there is plenty of room for both of you to seriously stretch your legs.
When it comes to green space, LeClaire has plenty thanks mainly due to the CHA leveling all of the project housing that once made this area one of the most gang-infested in the city for many years. Those areas are now vast wide-open fields awaiting a decision by the CHA as to how this land is to be used. While someday it might be home to a large number of single-family homes, today it is nothing but grass and a few trees with a road running through it. There are also a few individual empty plots scattered through the area and LeClaire Park in the northwest corner with space for two baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, a walking trail around the entire park, and plenty of well-kept green grass for the two of you to run around and play on. Remember to clean up after your pup on your visit and be courteous to other pedestrians.