Saturday, September 3, 2016

September 3, 1950 -- Altgeld Gardens Addition Announced

September 3, 1950 – The Chicago Tribune reports that a 500-unit addition to Altgeld Gardens at 130th Street is soon to get under way.  It will be one of 13 sites that the City Council has approved as subsidized housing for low-income families.  The land for the project was purchased in 1946 and covers 32 acres.  Architects for the huge project will be Naess & Murphy, the same firm that will design the Prudential Building on Randolph Street before the middle of the decade.  The average monthly rental is projected to be $43, and the project will include its own shopping center and “an abundance of parking space.”  The Beaubein Forest Preserve is nearby, and the park district has acquired an additional 15 acres of green space adjoining the development.  It all sounds wonderful – an urban paradise – but as The Chicago Reader later observed, “Altgeld’s proximity to the southeast side’s slew of factories, landfills, dumps, and polluted waterways . . . left its residents exposed and vulnerable.”  [The Chicago Reader, September 4, 2015]

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