March 30, 2011
Cut off from the amenities of surrounding neighborhoods, its public spaces defaced and plagued by gang activity, the Cabrini high-rise complex had become the reigning symbol of a failed experiment in urban planning and a yearslong push by Richard J. Daley to contain and confine Black communities. When the last tower fell, it felt like a rebuke. Is what replaced those towers — mostly a patchwork of subsidized private-market apartments — better than what came before? The verdict is out, but few have mourned the end of the high-rise era.