In the 1850s, wealthy residents developed the east side of the neighborhood with mansions, establishing Lake Shore Drive. The west side, on the other hand, became increasingly poor as an under-resourced population was driven out of the east side.
During the 1880s, the western area grew poorer and more disreputable as crime increased in the area. In the 1920s, the opening of the Michigan Avenue Bridge and the shopping area “Magnificent Mile” preserved the eastern region for the wealthy. This led to the construction of high-rise apartment buildings and luxury hotels. The imbalance of wealth in the Near North Side continued throughout the Great Depression.
Housing officials attempted to mend Cabrini-Green’s poverty by replacing the housing complexes with high-priced condos. Today, almost none of the original housing remains and the area is encircled by expensive land, although many of its original residents determined to stay in the neighborhood remain.
information courtesy of Moody Publishers
"Chicago Neighborhood Prayer Guide" by Dr. John Fuder with Elizabeth Koenig
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