The last building at Cabrini-Green, the Chicago project that became a symbol of the failure of public housing in America, is about to close for good, reports the Associated Press. More than 1,700 families have been moved from the Cabrini-Green complex of high-rises since the Chicago Public Housing Authority’s sweeping “Plan for Transformation” started in 2000. With just one building set to fall, a federal judge has given the two remaining families at Cabrini’s last high-rise until Dec. 10 to move out.
About half of the Cabrini residents who have relocated live in homes that are still close to their old complex, the Housing Authority said. The rest are scattered across the Chicago area. Cabrini initially was hailed as a salvation for the city’s poor and was emulated nationwide. But the 70-acre development quickly decayed into the kind of place where children were gunned down on their way to school, or sexually assaulted and left for dead. The development started on Chicago’s North Side in 1942 with row houses named for St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Roman Catholic patron saint of immigrants. A few years later, high-rises and mid-rises were added. Eventually, Cabrini housed as many as 13,000 people.