Cabrini Cliffhanger


Late in July, CHA and the Cabrini-Green Local Advisory Council signed an agreement that would allow for the demolition of six more public housing high-rises in exchange for resident control over the redevelopment. Under the agreement, residents would get 51 percent interest in the general partnership that would redevelop a large part of Cabrini. That partnership plans to build more than 2,000 units, of which 900 would go to people who qualify for public housing.

But the agreement was blocked on July 30 when federal Judge Marvin Aspen said the Habitat Company must agree to all public housing redevelopment. The legal battles continue.

In the following article, RJ correspondent Cecelia A. Clark covers one presentation of what a portion of the Near North community could look like in the near future and how these plans will affect residents. Read more »

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Cabrini-Green: Changes and Relocation


Each morning when they awake, the families remaining in 500 and 502 W.Oak St., two nineteen story high-rises in the Cabrini Green Public Housing Development, find themselves hanging in an uncertain balance between relocation and homelessness.

While some families have been relocated to other apartments in the development and others offered Section 8 Certificates, the remaining families – after numerous meetings with numerous people – are still unclear on what their fate will be. Read more »

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Cabrini-Green Update



Al Carter of Al Carter Youth Foundation, 880 N.Hudson, Dr. Nehemiah Russell of P.E.A.C.E. and Elder Mary Bartley of St. Luke Church, 914 N. Orleans St., were the key leaders in a march of more than 200 Black men of all ages.

The Black men came to Cabrini-Green from various communities across the city to show unity and to oppose demolition at Cabrini-Green.

The men talked about their concerns that African American families will be displaced by the demolition. Russell said this problem is affecting Black families throughout the country.

Another of the marchers’ major concerns is the need for jobs for residents. Read more »

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A Long Ride Home


While taking a cab home from work one evening, I gave the cab driver my address. He turned around and looked surprised

“You live there?” he asked.

The ‘there’ he was talking about was Cabrini-Green and my reply was the same as every time I had been asked this question in that way. “Yes.”

Then he started asking me more questions, “How do you live there? Because it’s so bad and there’s all this action going on.”

As our conversation continued, I would not – could not- let these questions go unanswered. So I proceeded to comment on his topics. The ‘action’ he was taking about takes place in the midst of the Gold Coast, Michigan Avenue, downtown and the Lakefront. Cabrini is surrounded by beaches, Lincoln Park, Northwestern Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital, where they bring children from all over the country to be treated. Cabrini is surrounded by banks, drug stores and some of the world’s best restaurants: the Crab House on Wells, Carson’s Ribs, Dave and Busters and so much more. I can see and hear that kind action from my apartment. Read more »

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A History of Cabrini-Green


Francis Cabrini Homes was constructed in 1941 and 1942. The first family moved in Aug. 1, 1942. The Cabrini Homes, commonly known today as the row houses, are bounded by Chicago Avenue on the south, Oak Street on the north, Cambridge Avenue on the west and Hudson Avenue to the east.

In 1900, the area where Cabrini-Green is located was crowded with frame and brick tenements and industrial buildings with two or even three buildings on a single lot. The area had a large Italian population and was often called “Little Sicily.” By 1940, the Black population in the area had grown to 20 percent, and by 1950 to 79 percent. There was still a 75 percent white population in the surrounding area. Read more »

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