[Voices of Cabrini raw: barbershop – town hall meeting]

Footage for the documentary "Voices of Cabrini." Shot between 1995-1999, it documented the Cabrini Green redevelopment project proposed and carried out by the city of Chicago. This video features an interview with George Robbins in his barbershop and then a town hall meeting between residents and the city on April 1, 1996.

0:00Copy video clip URL Static.

0:07Copy video clip URL Color bars.

0:24Copy video clip URL George Robbins in his barbershop. He talks about getting legitimate electricity from the city when he first moved into the barbershop.

1:23Copy video clip URL He talks about his first years in Cabrini as a barber on 1150 N. Larrabee and how the gangs eventually came into the area. In his current space he does not have to worry about gangs: “Over there you had to live in fear of the gangs…”

4:32Copy video clip URL He talks about his collection of posters, pictures, and paper ephemera.

6:29Copy video clip URL He talks about the changes in hair styles over the years. Shot of various “natural” hairstyles from the 1970s.

8:41Copy video clip URL He talks about how his brother, Moe, helped complement the barbershop with a merchandise business.

11:05Copy video clip URL Several in-camera cuts. Robbins tries to define the Cabrini-Green community: “It’s a housing project…it’s not all bad and it’s not all good. You have to judge for yourself…if a person was a total stranger, probably you’d give them a different expression of what you think about Cabrini, as opposed to a person who lives in the city of Chicago…”

13:47Copy video clip URL Robbins: “We never really had a lot of robberies in this area. We just had a lot of gang fights…but it’s quieted down some now…”

15:29Copy video clip URL Robbins: “Cabrini won’t be Cabrini much longer…it’ll be Near North Loop…you’ll have a new name…it’ll be something different. The names gonna change as the developers complete the development of the area.”

16:39Copy video clip URL Robbins: “We’ve always had some ups and some downs…I think the people I’ve known here for as much as two or three or as much as four generations of people, one family…it’s like a community you grow up in…when I go away [to a new barbershop] it’ll be like starting all over again.” He talks about his visibility in the community.

18:59Copy video clip URL Robbins: “My understanding is that this area is going to be part of a police station…”

20:17Copy video clip URL Robbins, about retirement: “I figure I can stand up another ten years.” Cut to Robbins and his brother packing up their belongings for the day. Moe sings.

36:12Copy video clip URL Cut to inside a large auditorium, filled with people, for a town hall meeting. No audio.

38:23Copy video clip URL Audio comes in. Joseph Shuldiner, director of the Chicago Housing Authority, stands at the podium.

39:25Copy video clip URL Shuldiner: “…We thought it might be useful to have each developer talk for about five minutes….” There are six plans on the table.

41:36Copy video clip URL Enterprise Development representative at the podium nervously introduces his company’s partnership with Landon Architects and Humboldt Construction. About the development plan, in sum, he says: “A new Cabrini CDC that will work with the resident on planning, jobs…home management…we have a proven partnership.”

43:02Copy video clip URL Shuldiner introduces the Lindman Group, which includes North Town Community Partnership, DePaul University, MCL as the developers, New City YMCA , North Town Community Congress. The Community Congress comprises 75 community organizations. Mr. Smith, a representative for Smith and Smith Associates, Inc.,  takes the podium and introduces eleven points for their company’s redevelopment plan. Dan McLean, a developer with MCL, is currently working on the Oscar Meyer and Mohawk sites, and holds the map for the redevelopment of Cabrini behind the podium.  The representative also introduces Bill Moorehead, Carl Moran with the YMCA, Father Monolt from DePaul University, and architect Ray Cruz, all of whom are off-camera.

45:23Copy video clip URL Project goal numbers three and four: “We want to transform Cabrini-Green into a viable mixed-income, mixed-racial…were the community can prosper…we will have development without any displacement…no qualified resident of Cabrini-Green who wants to stay in this community will not be displaced.”

46:39Copy video clip URL Smith details the number of full replacement housing units, new market-rate units, a retail center, and a town center. The YMCA will expand to provide daycare, jobs and job training. He proposes new transit stops and a library.

51:05Copy video clip URL Smith:  “This is not Cabrini-Green, this is our community. We cannot just do an isolated area and call it a community development. Our Phase 1…that would be approximately $330 million…”

51:46Copy video clip URL Shuldiner introduces Triad Consortium, but the tape goes to static. Cut to a man from a redevelopment group, possibly Triad, suggesting that Cabrini residents move to the Austin neighborhood in Chicago.

52:16Copy video clip URL Cut to another man standing in front of the audience: “Our goal is to create variety.” He sketches the kinds of businesses their redevelopment would attract.  Shuldiner takes the podium and opens the floor to questions from the community.

54:04Copy video clip URL A resident approaches the microphone, but the video goes to static. Cut to Mr. Smith. He answers a resident’s question: “Every unit that comes down will go in, in this community. Everyone.” Another resident asks a question, but it cannot be heard.

54:42Copy video clip URL Ariba from the Revolutionary Communist Party speaks at the community’s microphone: “Don’t believe the hype!…the federal government wants to get out of public housing…” Her remarks continue until the end of the tape.

57:32Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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