Route 50’s Bold Rebrand: Bradley Ditches Infamous Kinzie Legacy for Fresh Start


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BRADLEY, IL – Bradley’s stretch of Route 50, previously known as Kinzie Avenue, is undergoing a significant rebrand. 

Following Monday night’s Bradley Village board meeting, Mayor Mike Watson shared that Bradley’s Chief of Police proposed the renaming of the avenue to “Bradley Boulevard”. As Bradley seeks to carve out its own identity, this rebrand marks a notable beginning. However, Watson acknowledges potential business impacts along Route 50 due to the changes.

Why the shift from the Kinzie name? The Kinzie name is most noticeably featured on one of Chicago’s streets, traces back to John Kinzie, one of the city’s earliest settlers and, infamously, one of its first known murderers. 

In 1812, under questionable circumstances, Kinzie fatally stabbed Jean La Lime, an interpreter at Fort Dearborn. While the official account deemed it self-defense, whispers of monopolistic deals, corruption, and Kinzie’s potential efforts to silence La Lime from exposing his illicit activities cast a dark cloud over the legacy. Kinzie’s subsequent roles in Chicago, including serving as justice of the peace, casts a heavy shadow on La Lime’s fate, whose bones serve as a silent testament at the Chicago History Museum.

Kinzie runs a five mile stretch through key business and industry districts in Bradley starting at Bourbonnais Parkway and running south to Soldier Creek.


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