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Purging the PoorestPublic Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities$
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Lawrence J. Vale

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226012315

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226012599.001.0001

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Up From Little Hell

Up From Little Hell

Developing Chicago’s Frances Cabrini Homes

(p.155) 4 Up From Little Hell
Purging the Poorest

Lawrence J. Vale

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the origins of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green’s slum. Built in several stages from the 1940s to the early 1960s, Cabrini-Green aimed to alleviate the deplorable condition of the slum areas of Chicago’s North Side. Initially, its projects served as a modern and clean alternative to the slums’ dreadful living conditions; but after a period of decline, it became the slum that it sought to cure. Cabrini-Green became an example of the failures of postwar public housing. Over the years, the gentrification in Chicago’s north shore has obliterated the distinction between its slum and its “Gold Coast”—the more affluent area. With this change, residents have struggled to find their own place in the transforming urban setting that occurred in North Side Chicago.

Keywords:   gentrification, Cabrini-Green, slums, public housing, Chicago

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