Rockwell Gardens

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Rockwell Gardens
Demolition of Rockwell Gardens.jpg
Rockwell Gardens during demolition
Location Chicago Illinois
 United States
Coordinates 41°52′36″N 87°41′22″W / 41.876713°N 87.6894°W / 41.876713; -87.6894[1]Coordinates: 41°52′36″N 87°41′22″W / 41.876713°N 87.6894°W / 41.876713; -87.6894[1]
Status Demolished
Constructed 1958-1959
Demolished 2003-2006
Chicago Housing Authority

Rockwell Gardens was a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) public housing project located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States.[2] It was the first public housing development in the United States to be constructed using both federal and state funds.[3] The original structures were designed by Nicol & Nicol and covered 17 acres (6.9 ha). 1,126 units were built, located approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west of the Chicago Loop, bordered by Madison Street, Van Buren Street, Western Avenue, and Rockwell Street.[4]

Operation Clean Sweep[edit]

In the late 1980s, Rockwell Gardens was a part of Chicago's "Operation Clean Sweep." This was a comprehensive government and police operation to clear city housing projects of the rampant gang activity, drug dealers, and other violent criminals who were a constant problem.[5] The ultimate failure of this (and previous) cleanup programs eventually led to the Chicago Housing Authority's plan in the 1990s to demolish and redevelop city projects.


Rockwell Gardens is a part of the Chicago Housing Authority's "Plan for Transformation," which encompasses a complete demolition and reconstruction of virtually all public housing projects in the city of Chicago into mixed-income communities. Demolition and complete redevelopment began in 2003, intended to provide a total of 750 housing units, of which 264 are reserved for current CHA residents.[4]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Google (27 August 2012). "Rockwell Gardens" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Chicago: East Garfield Park
  3. ^ Chicago Housing Authority website "History"
  4. ^ a b "Rockwell Gardens" (PDF). FY2006 Moving to Work Annual Plan. Chicago Housing Authority. p. 34. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Michael Gillis (1989-06-29). "'Secure' Rockwell Gardens pledged". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 

External links[edit]