I suspect that Chicagoans are very very relieved that the infamous projects Cabrini-Green Housing Developments are finally gone. The last structure was came down in February of this year. I was walking right through the grounds, on my way to Yojimbo Garage (a very cool bike shop), and had no idea this was the site that inspired one of my favorite horror movies, Candyman. It’s gone. Gon’! But the ripple effect is very visible as you travel to the outer limits of several of Chicago’s train lines or talk to folks in the outer suburbs about the impact on their communities. I’ve heard more than one Chicago resident talk about how much the neighborhood has improved now that the urban blight has been removed. Of course, I can’t help but think about the fact that most of the (at its peak of population) 15,000 residents of this place are not around to enjoy the revival and renewal of their community.
This Project was unique in that it was wedged between two affluent neighborhoods and developers have been sitting on the property all around it for year, waiting for the day that the people would be removed, the buildings torn down, and they could get to the business of building condos. It was difficult to pass through Chicago without encountering these buildings. And now it’s really difficult to imagine them ever being there. A lot of people don’t have to imagine it, they hold the memory of the place inside of them. There’s really cool website that has the attention of some folks in Chicago. People post comments and share images and ideas about this place. My favorite post right now is a profile for a local handyman. It’s such a cool thing to do – use your blog to advertise the home improvement services of friends! I really appreciate this site for being able to draw folks out, engage them and get them to tell their stories online. As you can probably sense, there’s more on my mind regarding this cityscape, the way folks move through Chicago and the stories folks tell themselves and others about their city. I’m going to post more later, but for now check out this lovely timelapse made by Ryan Flynn.
Thanks to http://www.cabrini-green.com/index.html and Ryan Flynn for a great forum and “meeting place.”