Ben Austen is the author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Publick Housing. He has several publications about the American landscape and other issues of our time. He will be lecturing on Wednesday, September 05, at 6 PM in the Stuckeman Jury Space.
Cabrini-Green was the country's most iconic public housing development. Located just a few blocks from Chicago's ritzy Gold Coast, it became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. It also provided a much-needed resource to thousands of people - a home. By 2011, all twenty-three towers at Cabrini-Green had been razed. The history of Cabrini-Green and public housing's rise and fall is also the story of America's always uneasy relationship to poverty and to race. It is the ongoing story of the country's cities - their built environments, planning, politics, shifting populations, and the question of who gets to call them home.