Column: Chicago shows how public housing and libraries can coexist and be visually stunning. Now we need more of them (Chicago Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
September 12th, 2019

From the Chicago Tribune:

Let’s dispense with the obvious, shall we? Three new Chicago buildings, which combine public libraries and public housing, are head and shoulders above the Robert Taylor Homes, Cabrini-Green and the rest of the city’s dehumanizing, now-demolished public housing projects.

How could they not be? The library-housing combos are modest-sized structures rather than enormous complexes built to warehouse the poor. They’re physically integrated into neighborhoods instead of isolated. And they’re produced by skilled developers and architects, not hacks following orders that public housing shouldn’t just be cheap — it should look cheap.

In these works, architects John Ronan, Ralph Johnson and Brian Lee have turned in performances that range from solid to stellar. The buildings are bright, optimistic and city-enhancing. Their libraries — vibrant with activity, although too noisy for some — form a new kind of civic commons, drawing together people of different races, ages and income levels.

Read the Chicago Tribune's article "Chicago shows how public housing and libraries can coexist and be visually stunning. Now we need more of them.," featuring the Chicago Housing Authority.

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