Cabrini rowhouses: a last look?

Cabrini rowhouses: a last look?

A friend of mine and documentary photographer Nathan Lanthrum shared this photo with me of the Cabrini rowhouses. Lanthrum has been documenting the changes in Cabrini in the last year through photography and sent me this shot.

Just what will happen to the rowhouses is still up in the air, although we know now that the Chicago Housing Authority will not be rehabbing them as 100 percent public housing as they had said they would for the first 10 years of the Plan for Transformation. In this photo, you can see both the rowhouses that have already been rehabbed, near the bottom of the picture, and those further away that haven't been.

Will they be demolished? Turned into mixed-income housing? Student housing? We don't know yet. But the city skyline in this photo reminds me that those decisions are often made by those in the well-lit skyscrapers, not the people living there.

Photo credit: N.P. Lanthrum

© Community Renewal Society 2011

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    Oh shut it. There isn't a sentient being on the face of this planet who will miss Cabrini Green. What a mess. It had it's time, and that's over. I've only been mugged twice there, good riddance. It's a slum, a ghetto, an atrocity. No place for humans. I hope the yuppies enjoy it. They'll be the only ones.

  • This was supposed to be mixed income housing in the first place. I'm not so sure I want to live next to a Section 8 family that doesn't know how to live anywhere but subsidized housing. Yes, that kind of resident does in fact bring down the value of a neighbourhood and there is no denying it. People who are mired five and six generations deep into a system that has supported them and does not encourage them to help themselves are not likely to have respect for anyone else's property or possessions. Living in a complex like this is not being an urban pioneer--it's about trying to make a political statement and one with which I wholly disagree. You can't live next to someone else to get your values--they come from within.

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    There was a time and place for both the Cabrini Homes and the Green Homes. The time and place for Cabrin-Green as it was developed to be, affordable housing for families and others who needed, but, could not afford market-rate Gold Coast housing.

    LAB1660 is correct when he writes "...was supposed to be mixed income housing in the first place." Public housing developments like Cabrini-Green gave some who needed a supportive hand for their families a viable alternative to some of the nightmares of ghetto life. Ann Fluence (sounds like an assumed name) says "There isn't a sentient being on the face of this planet who will miss Cabrini Green. What a mess. It had it's time, and that's over. I've only been mugged twice there, good riddance." I am a sentient being and I will miss the Cabrini-Greens of America, particularly Chicago. Places where some learned right from wrong and how to do better. The mixed-income replacements of Cabrin-Green and other places like it will becoming to an affordable starter home
    city or suburban neighborhood near you. Just wait and watch.

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