Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Rockwell Gardens

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Constructed  1958-1959
Demolished  2003-2006
Rockwell Gardens is surrounded by debris

Location  Chicago Illinois United States
Status  Demolished,Destroyed,Unsupported as 2006
GoverningBody  Chicago Housing Authority

The rise fall the rise again of rockwell gardens

Rockwell Gardens was a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) public housing project located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was the first public housing development in the United States to be constructed using both federal and state funds. The original structures were designed by Nicol & Nicol and covered 17 acres (6.9 ha). 1,126 units were built, located approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west of the Chicago Loop, bordered by Madison Street, Van Buren Street, Western Avenue, and Rockwell Street.


Rockwell Gardens surrounded by trees and cars on the parking lot

R i p big tugg rockwell gardens

Operation Clean Sweep

The front of Rockwell Gardens is surrounded by a tarpaulin construction fence

In the late 1980s, Rockwell Gardens was a part of Chicago's "Operation Clean Sweep." This was a comprehensive government and police operation to clear city housing projects of the rampant gang activity, drug dealers, and other violent criminals who were a constant problem. The ultimate failure of this (and previous) cleanup programs eventually led to the Chicago Housing Authority's plan in the 1990s to demolish and redevelop city projects.


Rockwell Gardens with a newly constructed building on the front

Rockwell Gardens is a part of the Chicago Housing Authority's "Plan for Transformation," which encompasses a complete demolition and reconstruction of virtually all public housing projects in the city of Chicago into mixed-income communities. Demolition and complete redevelopment began in 2003, intended to provide a total of 750 housing units, of which 264 are reserved for current CHA residents.

Black and white side view of the Rockwell Gardens

Trees and an overhead power line near the Rockwell Gardens
The Rockwell Gardens from afar

Black and white Rockwell Gardens during demolition


Rockwell Gardens Wikipedia