The Writing on the Wall: C-Town In Memoriam

3833-35 South Federal building reduced to rubble nearing the end of demolition.

3833-35 South Federal is one of three CHA high-rises closed at the Stateway Gardens development during the last year. All three buildings are in the process of being demolished. Known as C-Town, 3833-35 South Federal is now a pile of rubble.

Forced to relocate, residents were given the choice of moving into the private real estate market with a Section 8 voucher or moving into a rehabbed unit in one of the remaining buildings at Stateway. Some chose to move to 3651-53 South Federal, one of the so-called “feeder buildings” that will remain standing during the first phase of redevelopment at Stateway. On the wall in the corridor on the 15th floor of 3653, there recently appeared a comment on the fate of 3833-35 South Federal.

RIP C-Town tag on the 15th floor wall in 3653 South Federal.

The March 10th issue of The Chicago Tribune Magazine contains an article by Alex Kotlowitz on the CHA’s Plan for Transformation. “Where Is Everyone Going?” asks the title. We can’t answer that question for all those for whom C-Town was home nor for all those who used to live in the other CHA high-rises across the city that have been closed and demolished in recent years, but we can answer it for one of them. Gwendolyn Hull figures centrally in Kotlowitz’s article. A former resident of C-Town, she was evicted for non-payment of rent in February of last year. Kotlowitz describes the conditions in Hull’s apartment as “among the most dispiriting” he had ever seen and quotes her as saying that she withheld her rent in protest. Toward the end of the article, Kotlowitz states that he lost track of Hull; at last report she and her three young children were said to be homeless. On March 14th, 2002, we talked with Gwen about her journey since leaving Stateway on WBEZ’s (91.5 FM) “Eight Forty-Eight.” Click here to listen to Gwen’s story.