The 1992 Horror Film That Made a Monster Out of a Chicago Housing Project

In Candyman, the Notorious Cabrini-Green Complex Is Haunted by Urban Myths and Racial Paranoia

In the 1992 horror film Candyman, Helen, a white graduate student researching urban legends, is looking into the myth of a hook-handed apparition who is said to appear when his name is uttered five times—“Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman.” She ventures to the site where the supernatural slasher is supposed to have disemboweled a victim. Alone, of course, she enters a men’s public toilet at Cabrini-Green, which in real life was the city’s most infamous public housing complex. This solitary building, surrounded by sheer-faced towers, arouses a queasy feeling of …

More In: public housing

Why the Housing Crisis Won’t Get Fixed by Building Cheaper Homes

The Conversation About Housing Costs, from Cleveland to Singapore, Is Missing the Realities of Economics and Place

This time of year, the swallows return to Capistrano, and I return to my birthplace, San Francisco, for the city’s annual pre-budget finance conference. For the last few years I …

Beekeepers and the Art of Urban Rebirth

How a Nature Sanctuary Eased the Sting of an Epic Public Housing Failure

The plight of public housing projects conceived with the best of intentions and then failing horribly is by now well-known in communities across America. Less known—and still unfolding—is the story …