Chicago Exhibit Provides the Public Housing Experience

December 16, 2010

Take a step back in time and see what public housing looked like many years ago.

The Chicago Tourism Center Gallery’s exhibit, History Coming Home, displays public policies, oral histories and artifacts from public housing in cities from Chicago to Boston and New Orleans to Sacramento.

The exhibit includes a 1950s-style public housing apartment you can walk through, complete with a living room, kitchen and bedroom filled with items from public housing residents.

You might be surprised by some of the people who once lived in public housing including:

A room in the exhibit.*”Good Times” actress Bern Nadette Stanis

*NBA player Tony Allen

*President Jimmy Carter

*Bill Cosby

*Senator Mattie Hunter

*Chicago restaurateur Dick Portillo

*Pianist Reginald Robinson

*Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Objects on display at the gallery include:

*A trumpet and Boy Scout paraphernalia from former Congressman Louis Stokes

*A desk from Sunny Fischer, Executive Director of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

*Photographs of Chicago Housing Authority tenants from the CHA archives

*A coffee pot, dishes and metal roller skates from PJ Fitzgerald, who once lived in Chicago’s Jane Addams Homes, the location of the new National Public Housing Museum.

The new museum, which is slated to open in 2012, will be the first cultural institution dedicated to interpreting the American experience in public housing. It will be located in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes at 1322 W. Taylor St., a 1937 building that was home to hundreds of public housing families all the way up to 2002. For more information about the museum, visit

What: History Coming Home

When: Through April 15, 2011

Where: Chicago Tourism Center Gallery, 72 E. Randolph St., Chicago

Cost: Free!

More: For more information, visit

Categories: Events, In the City

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