Cabrini-Green tower falling near N. Town Village

One of the biggest complaints among residents of North Town Village, probably the best known mixed-income project in the redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Cabrini-Green community, has been the presence of an adjacent Cabrini highrise at Halsted and Division streets. Both CHA and market-rate residents said the whole idea of mixed-income low-rise housing was undercut, to put it mildly, by the presence of a dense CHA tower within arm’s reach. Looks like the Chicago Housing Authority is finally tearing this tower down.

YoChicago photographed what looks like the beginning of the end for the Cabrini highrise. Neighboring North Town Village, 1300-1400 N Halsted St, got very mixed reviews from both public housing tenants and market-rate buyers and renters after it was completed. Many market-rate buyers seemed sincerely pleased to be part of a bold experiment in economic diversity — and to be walking distance from the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park at a discount. Many former Cabrini residents said they were happy to be away from the ragged apartments and dysfunctional buildings where they’d lived. Both, however, complained at the presence of the neighboring CHA tower, which they felt made the nearby park unsafe for their children and drew noise and strange cars into their subdivision.

Some North Town Village residents will no doubt be thrilled to see the highrise go, and based on past interviews with homeowners, the change seems likely to boost property values. The obvious question as this tower goes the way of so many others at Cabrini is where did all the CHA tenants go? As quality of life improves for the few lucky enough to live at North Town Village, it’s no doubt getting worse for the others shifted to a new slum.

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