On Chicago’s Near West Side sits a 70-year-old Depression-era building, the sole remaining structure of the Jane Addams Homes, the first federal government housing project in Chicago. The building—part of one of three demonstration projects in Chicago built under the Public Works Administration Act—will be the future site of the National Public Housing Museum. The Chicago Housing Authority, which owns the building, chose it to serve as the museum’s home in August with the hope of changing the image of public housing residents, CHA Commissioner Michael Ivers told the Chicago Tribune.
Modeled after the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, the museum is slated for a December 2011 opening. It will trace 70 years of public housing through the stories and artifacts of six decades of residents of the red brick Addams buildings along Chicago’s West Taylor Street.