Oct 18, 2022 - News

Public housing museum breaks ground

Photo of kids playing on a balcony of a high-rise

Kids play on the balcony of the Robert Taylor Homes in 1973. Image: John White/US National Archives via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The long-awaited permanent space for the National Public Housing Museum broke ground last week on the Near West Side.

Why it matters: The museum, which has been in the works for over 15 years, is the first cultural institution in the country to recognize and preserve public housing history and voices.

Between the lines: The museum is being built on the Near West Side on the location of the old Jane Addams Homes — one of the first public housing sites in Chicago.

Zoom in: Over 50,000 Chicagoans live in homes run by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which launched in 1937 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Public Works Administration.

What they're saying: "The epicenter of the public housing story has been Chicago," former U.S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros said in a recent release.

Of note: The museum will be located near the controversial Chicago Fire practice facility, which is being built on the site of the former ABLA homes in a deal passed by the City Council last month.

What's next: The museum is expected to open in 2023.

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