New funding has been secured for the National Public Housing Museum at 925 S Ada Street in the Near West Side. The project is part of the greater Roosevelt Square Plan which includes various residential developments led by Related Midwest and the Chicago Housing Authority. The museum itself will be one of the first of its kind and occupy around 2/3rds of a larger shared building with 15 residential units. The funds will help kick-start construction on the proposal designed by the Chicago based firms of HED Architects and Landon Bone Baker Architects.
Devoted to telling the story of public housing in the United States according to the city, the spaces will be built in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes. Named after the Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of one of the nations most famous settlement centers Hull House, the museum brings its history to the building saved specifically for it. The once sprawling public housing complex was one of the first three to ever be built in Chicago, completed in 1938 and contained 32 structures.
The design itself will deliver three new commercial outposts facing the street, recreate three-apartments from different eras inside, as well as new exhibit spaces including sculptures once found at the Jane Addams Homes out of storage according to Crain’s. The grand entrance to the museum will feature a colorful image of humanity painted on squares that lower in density as it goes up, designed by renowned artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous. Overall giving the Near West Side a world-class cultural institution ‘committed to telling an inclusive and diverse history’.
Future visitors will be able to reach the site via CTA bus route 157 in front, route 12 and 60 via a five-minute walk, and the CTA Blue Line Racine Station via a 13-minute walk. The $14.5 million project recently received $4.5 million from the city as part of the Chicago Recovery Fund as well as $2 million from two other donations; the $6.5 million collected will allow for construction to finally begin including the apartments. Further information on the museum can be found in this video posted by the organization who expects to complete its construction in late 2023.