The History And Legacy Of The Cabrini Green Housing Project

A large crane stands in place as demolition begins at the last high-rise at Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing complex, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in Chicago. Cabrini-Green was built on Chicago’s North Side starting in the 1940s. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
A large crane stands in place as demolition begins at the last high-rise at Chicago's Cabrini-Green public housing complex, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in Chicago. Cabrini-Green was built on Chicago's North Side starting in the 1940s. M. Spencer Green/AP, file
A large crane stands in place as demolition begins at the last high-rise at Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing complex, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in Chicago. Cabrini-Green was built on Chicago’s North Side starting in the 1940s. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
A large crane stands in place as demolition begins at the last high-rise at Chicago's Cabrini-Green public housing complex, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in Chicago. Cabrini-Green was built on Chicago's North Side starting in the 1940s. M. Spencer Green/AP, file

The History And Legacy Of The Cabrini Green Housing Project

Seventy acres, 23 buildings, and 15,000 people. Those are the numbers behind one of the most well-known, and perhaps notorious, public housing projects in Chicago. Cabrini Green was, for many, a symbol of racist housing policies, crime, and economic struggles. But for the thousands who lived there is was also home, family, and community.

Writer Ben Austen spent seven years chronicling some of those lives and tracing the long history of Cabrini Green for his new book High Risers: Cabrini Green and the Fate of American Public Housing.

Morning Shift talks to Austen about why this particular housing project stands out among the many that once existed in Chicago.

GUEST:

Ben Austen, author, High Risers: Cabrini Green and the Fate of American Public Housing