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