The former apartment building of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., located in North Lawndale
For a closer look at the apartments, launch the photo gallery »

This spring, for the first time in more than 40 years, people will be living at the same North Lawndale address as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his family did in 1966, when he came here to dramatize the desperate state of housing in Chicago’s minority neighborhoods.

The three-flat at 1550 South Hamlin Avenue was damaged during the riots that followed King’s assassination (on April 4, 1968) and eventually demolished. The site has been a vacant lot ever since. On Sunday, April 3rd, Lawndale Christian Development Corp. will celebrate completion of the Dr. King Legacy Apartments on that historic site. “We have finally accomplished his purpose in coming to Chicago,” says Kim Jackson, the organization’s executive director. “Dr. King came to Lawndale to ensure that families had quality housing that was affordable. I think he would be pleased to see what we’ve done here.”

While a few units in the half-block complex of 45 affordably priced homes already have tenants, nobody has yet moved into the apartments with the 1550 South Hamlin address. Most tenants will begin moving in next month, and the entire complex should be occupied by June.

I last toured the site when it was under construction in January 2010. For a tour of the now-complete project, click through the slide show below.