ARCHIVES

A History of Cabrini-Green

by  

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

What’s Happening in ABLA?

by  

ABLA Homes residents recently received word that their development has received some $24 million from a federal HOPE VI grant. In this article, ABLA LAC President Deverra Beverly examines some of the steps that led to that success.

ABLA instituted a front line feeding program in 1990. This program feeds over 1200 people weekly, 144,000 yearly.

This program is being relocated for vendors. The ABLA community is very concerned regarding when the vendors will arrive. When and if this takes place, the Food Program should be located at the same address, 1254 S. Loomis, and takes place between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and not in the evening at 8 p.m. If the weather is adverse or unsuitable, the person or persons can eat inside. 8 p.m. is too late for children to come to the food site to eat. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

LeClaire Courts

by  

Once the crown jewel of the nation’s resident-managed public housing developments, LeClaire Courts was recently taken over by CHA. Agency officials accused employees of the resident managers of taking advantage of a new board. While the fall-out of that action continues, writer Andre Robinson recalls the LeClaire Courts of his youth.

The year is 1950. World War 11 is five years out of our system. The Korean War is building, Harry S. Truman is serving his first full term as President of the United States. Martin Kennelly is Mayor of Chicago and Chicago’s Midway Airport is the world’s busiest airport. One and one half miles north on Cicero Avenue from Midway Airport, between 42nd and 44th streets in a heavy-industrial area, is a patch of land that is causing controversy at City Hall between the mayor and aldermen of that district. The reason is the Chicago Housing Authority purchased that land to build low-income housing. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

CHA Home Ownership: Wentworth Gardens

by  

Just a few blocks south of Wentworth Gardens, located near Comiskey Park, is the Wentworth Gardens Annex. The annex is a 98 unit scattered-site development located at 43rd Street and Princeton Avenue. The units are being sold under the CHA’s home ownership program.

Built in 1969, the Wentworth Gardens Annex was originally built with the idea that the units could later be sold to residents. The houses consist of two three- and four-bedroom bungalows, duplexes and row houses. There are currently 26 homeowners. Two of the sales were completed this summer. Twenty-four of the units were previously sold to residents as early as 1987.

CHA’s Division of Development Initiatives, Homeownership Department, is working closely with residents to achieve the reality of being a homeowner, according to project manager Cecil Lawrence. Once a resident becomes interested in the process, he or she will find that CHA has a wide range of supportive services to assist them.

The residents participate in mandatory homebuyer counseling. The process starts with a pre-application. Among the things that must be taken into consideration are the homeowner’s ability to pay utilities (gas, lights, water) and maintenance of the property. Some people need money for a down payment and/or closing costs. Some applicants are advised that they should save some money for a while or do various other things to get prepared.

No individual starts the program until their report comes back saying that they are prepared to enter the homeownership program. There are currently four to five people participating in the counseling process and two applicants are in the process of obtaining a mortgage. The demonstration model of the annex, which is located on 42nd Place, is a three bedroom brick, fully carpeted duplex unit. The house has central air-conditioning, ceiling fan (kitchen), ceramic floor tiles and new furnace with built in humidifier.The houses will be sold thorugh 20 or 30 year mortgages. First priority is given to the Annex residents, other public housing residents and subsidized housing residents. The average cost of a three bedroom unit is about $32,500.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Mr. Robinson Goes to Washington

by  

When I first started working on this resident newspaper this summer, I was both excited and concerned. I was enthusiastic about writing articles about my community and other public housing developments. I questioned, however, how much freedom I would have in writing various articles. So I asked my editor what we could and couldn’t write about and if there were people within CHA we could not touch. He assured me the paper would not be censored and that I had carte blanche on who and what I could write about without interference from the brass at CHA. I nevertheless remained skeptical.

The true test of the paper came when my editor announced that I would be accompanying him on a trip to Washington, D.C. The trip would be to a conference organized by Dominium, a private management company that is managing a CHA development and is seeking to become a national leader in the privatization field. The conference would bring together residents from Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Chicago. But I was determined to get an interview with one of the Washington big shots. I had spoken to my friends, neighbors and relatives to collect their concerns of how changes at the nation’s capitol would affect them. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Vote ’96: Conventional Colors

by  

There were no mistakes this time as the City of Chicago put on its happy face to host the Democratic National Convention. It was the first convention held in Chicago since the embarrassing 1968 convention, which is still etched in the minds of many Chicagoans. While Mayor Richard J. Daley watched in shame, the riots destroyed future hopes of hosting another convention – until this year.

This time, the city was all aglow to greet the Democratic Party. Many roads were newly paved, abandoned buildings in neighborhoods on the West, South and East sides were restored and the tuckpointing crews worked overtime to ensure a display of a great city. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Vote ’96: Conventional Colors

by  

Have you ever wondered what it would be like being another color? Have you ever wished that you could become another color just for one day or just for the moment? I thought that day would never come for me. But the night of the convention, I had wished I was three different colors by the time I departed from the political arena.

Read more »

Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized