Last resident out of Cabrini-Green high rises

Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune chronicles the sage of the last family to move out of the 1230 N. Burling building, the last occupied high-rise at Cabrini-Green. Here is how Schmich sums up the legacy of the housing project:

Cabrini, with its history of murdered cops and slain children, was the housing development that came to symbolize the squandered hope of them all. It was a Chicago name known to the nation. It was also unique, sitting as it did on prime land near downtown and the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods…

In Cabrini’s heyday, 15,000 people lived in its white high-rises, red high-rises and brick row houses. Born as a hopeful haven for the poor, it devolved by the 1970s into an oasis of poverty in which guns-gangs-drugs melded into a single demon…

Whether life has changed for the better for the majority of people who have moved out remains a question, but the neighborhood is clearly better.

As the era of the public housing high-rise winds down, now we can turn and see if newer forms of public housing development or aid, such as mixed-income developments or Section 8 vouchers or other options, are better in helping people leave poverty.