Monday, January 29, 2007
Yesterdays ramblings took me to some pretty strange places. This is one of Chicago's infamous housing projects. I think it is the last of the row called the Robert Taylor Homes. The projects were a mystery to me when I first moved to Chicago. There they were, high rise buildings all in a row, with smoke stains from fires around some windows (you can see some in this picture). I heard stories over the years of drugs, elevators that didn't work, gang warfare, poverty, neglect, firemen who had to climb to the top floors to do their jobs. The buildings became a symbol of well-intended social engineering gone seriously wrong. Now they are all being torn down and the residents resettled, hopefully into better places. This too has been controversial. Where should new housing be built? Who should be eligible? What to do with the folks no one wants as neighbors? And so on.
For a great book about life in the projects in Chicago, I highly recommend There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz.