National Public Housing Museum breaks ground in Little Italy

Posted by Ravenswood Studio on Oct 11, 2022 in

This article was originally published in CBS Chicago News.

Ravenswood Studio is providing Exhibit Fabrication Services for this project in partnership with Amy Reichert Design.

CHICAGO (CBS)– Soon Chicago will have a new museum telling the story of public housing and the people who live there.

Officials broke ground Tuesday for the National Public Housing Museum. It will be built in the last remaining building of the historic Jane Addams Homes public housing complex in Little Italy, which housed and taught immigrants in Chicago.

The museum plans to share stories from former and current residents. 

“This museum, yes it will have objects, but most important it will have the stories that tell my story, as well as so many others about growing up in public housing, and the importance that it had in our lives,” said museum co-founder Sunny Fischer, who grew up in public housing in New York.

The museum creators want to tell the story of public housing in this country, which includes every race, ethnicity, age and religion. That story includes hearing from some who grew up public housing and share the good, and the bad, of this piece of history.

“I think we have an American story that we need to tell, too; and need to tell it through peoples lives, people who lived there,” Fischer said.

The museum interviewed many of its board members, all who had an experience with public housing.

The National Public Housing Museum also will feature 15 mixed-income apartments, run by the Chicago Housing Authority and developer Related Midwest.

The museum has been in the planning and development stage for 15 years, and is expected to open to the public next year.