Goodbye yellow brick Cabrini Green

The only memory of Cabrini Green I have involves being in Chicago as a naive Nebraska high schooler - I didn't get off at the wrong train stop or whatever other story you're imaging, but someone did ask me for money to take a bus there. My first experience as a panhandlee is all tied up in this place.

I read that the housing development was imploded today - if he's back from his travels, maybe Grrrbear can relate some hometown wisdom about Chicago's reaction.

Update: America's so lame. Cabrini Green's got nothin' on the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
Square buildings folded up into one another as thousands of modifications were made, virtually none by architects or engineers, until hundreds of square metres were simply a kind of patchwork monolith. Labyrinthine corridors ran through the monolith, some of those being former streets (at the ground level, and often clogged up with trash), and some of those running through upper floors, practically between buildings. The streets were illuminated by fluorescent lights, as sunlight was rare except for the rooftops.

The mutual decision to tear down the walled city was made in 1987.

At that time, it had 50,000 inhabitants on 0.026 km², and therefore a very high population density of 1,900,000 / km². It was allegedly the most densely populated spot on Earth.


Anonymous said...

Omg. That walled city is the coolest thing EVER. Reminds me of walking through the markets in Morocco - not because they're, yknow, dominated by Chinese crime syndicates, but the whole thing about the sky disappearing and the roads winding around and stuff. Awesome.

Mister Vertigo said...

That walled city is like Coruscant from Star Wars right here on Earth!

Spice said...

That walled city is crazy! How depressing to live there.

I used to do research in a school at Cabrini Green. It was weirdly less depressing than you'd think (and a lot like the projects on "The Wire"), although I never had to enter a high-rise (thankfully).

grrrbear said...

The tearing down of the green has actually been happening for months now. It's taken forever to get all the tenants moved out (the solution from the city - just kick 'em to the far south and west sides) but they finally got started on the buildings they have cleared (only about 2-3 thus far). In general it's a pretty old story here. And all these buildings are being replaced with "mixed income" housing, including one that is already finished that looks much like a commuter passenger railcar. Urgh.