The History of Cabrini Green

Our digitally preserved collection of archival videotapes from Cabrini-Green includes 52 BetacamSP cassettes recorded by Ronit Bezalel for her “Voices of Cabrini” documentary (1995-1999). A handful of other tapes were created by other producers throughout the ’80s and ’90s, including Lilly Ollinger’s “Ambassadors of Cabrini” documentary (1981). VIEW ALL VIDEOS

Cabrini-Green was a public housing project in Chicago that covered 70 acres just east of Goose Island. It was built in three stages (1942,1958, and 1962) and included 23 high rise apartment complexes and 54 row houses. At its densest, approximately 15,000 people lived in 3,600 units. By the early 1990s “Cabrini-Green” had become synonymous with the failures of inner city public housing: institutionalized racial segregation,violent crime, and lifelong poverty. In 1997, two high rises had been demolished, 232 families had been relocated, and several dozen market-rate town homes had been constructed in the area. Evicted residents could not influence the redevelopment process and had to choose between other public housing options. The last Cabrini-Green high rise was torn down in 2011.

These videotapes offer an unprecedented glimpse into the lives and conditions of former Cabrini-Green residents. As primary historical material they are in a class of their own. We categorized and cataloged each tape, so that you can explore the content however you like. Most of the videotapes run one hour real time. Note that we are still organizing this content to best meet your needs. Please let us know how we can make browsing the collection easier.

 

GREEN HOMES (1962)

630 W. Evergreen

1340 N. Larrabee

1230 N. Larrabee

534 W. Division

624 W. Division

660 W. Division

714 W. Division

1230 N. Burling

 

CABRINI EXTENSION NORTH (1958)

1015-1017 N. Larrabee

1121 N. Larrabee

1159-1161 N. Larrabee

500-502 W. Oak

1117-1119 N. Cleveland

1157-1159 N. Cleveland

1158 N. Cleveland

1150-1160 N. Sedgwick

 

CABRINI EXTENSION SOUTH (1958)

364 W. Oak

365 W. Oak

929-939 N. Hudson

911 N. Hudson

911-923 N. Sedgwick

862 N. Sedgwick

412 W. Chicago Ave.

 

FRANCIS CABRINI HOMES (ROW HOUSES, 1942)

Between Oak Street and Chicago Avenue (North-South) and Larrabee Street and Hudson Avenue (West-East)