This week’s story from WBEZ’s Curious City answer this question from a listener: “What happened to Little Italy? I’ve heard stories of Richard J. Daley having a dispute with my Italian ancestors and (bada bing!), there were suddenly hospitals, public housing, and a college dropped on their heads.”
Morning Shift talks to WBEZ reporter Monica Eng who investigated this question. She found that rumors that Daley specifically targeted Italian Americans for failing to support him are largely unfounded, but that it’s true that his ultimate decision to put the University of Illinois at Chicago atop Little Italy, displacing thousands, changed the character of the neighborhood forever.