A Neighborhood Finds Itself

By Julia Abrahamson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
The Urban Renewal Program

By 1953 and 1954 the need for a comprehensive planning program was widely accepted. The University of Chicago and the newly created South East Chicago Commission began a pounding drive "to get the show on the road."

The Hyde Park-Kenwood-Oakland-Woodlawn communities were declared a conservation area by the Interim Commission on Neighborhood Conservation. A survey of a section of Hyde Park showed sufficient blight to justify public action. Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporations were established. Mayor Kennelly announced that an urban renewal plan would be prepared for the southeast area. The community's new Planning Unit established at the university began to work with city agencies on suggested plans.

When the federal Housing Act of 1954 became law, the office of the housing and redevelopment coordinator set out at once to satisfy federal requirements for a "workable program" by the city and to cooperate with the director of the Planning Unit in the preparation of an application for a federal urban renewal advance.

The next four years showed considerable progress -- sometimes

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