Crafting Your Experience

ChicagoHistory
National Public Housing Museum

The Near West Side and The Jane Addams Homes: Chicago's Ellis Island

​The story of public housing is the story of America. This tour, curated by the National Public Housing Museum, introduces you to the heart of Chicago’s Near West Side with its vibrant communities, diverse cultures, and history of activism and resistance. Explore fascinating sites where public housing residents built community across racial and economic divides, restaurants and bakeries that continue to create delectable food from various cultures and learn about overlooked and invisible stories about where people studied, organized, and confronted social injustice. We recognize this land as being indigenous, and we follow the lead of the first peoples who, despite massive genocidal violence, have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

  • 1.

    The National Public Housing Museum

    The National Public Housing Museum

    We preserve, promote, and propel the right of all people to a place to call home.

  • 2.

    Origins of Taylor Street

    Origins of Taylor Street

    The Main Street of Chicago’s Little Italy.

  • 3.

    Old Maxwell Street Market

    Old Maxwell Street Market

    Where diverse Chicagoans crossed boundaries of race and class to shop, eat, and listen to the Blues.

  • 4.

    Fire Hydrant Riots

    Fire Hydrant Riots

    Segregation, struggle, and the right to swim.

  • 5.

    Manny's Deli

    Manny's Deli

    Where pastrami meets politics.

  • 6.

    Riis Elementary School

    Riis Elementary School

    What’s in a name?

  • 7.

    Scafuri Bakery

    Scafuri Bakery

    Satisfying Little Italy’s sweet tooth and serving the community since 1904.

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