Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 1973 -- Nuts and Bolts of Chicago 21

November 11, 1973 – Chicago Tribune architecture critic Paul Gapp reports on five projects contained in the proposed $15 billion Chicago 21 plan.  The first priority is to alter the Cabrini-Green public housing project and its surrounding area radically enough so that it will “serve as a pilot program for public housing thruout [sic] the city.”   [Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1973]  The second major project involves the construction of a Franklin Street “connector,” running just east of the Chicago River, connecting the Dan Ryan Expressway with the central business district.  Another major focus is the construction of a central area subway, something that would allow the destruction of the Loop elevated system.  Also in the plan is a proposal to create a vast new residential area for 120,000 people just south of the Loop on an unused railroad yard.  Finally, the plan urges the creation of new residential developments in other areas of the city with a special consideration given to residential conversions of downtown office buildings.  The above photo shows Cabrini Green as it existed at the time.  Drive north or south on Halsted or east and west on Division today, and you will see a far different scene.

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