About Altgeld Gardens

Altgeld Gardens is a public housing development located on the far south side of Chicago, Illinois. Here are some key points about Altgeld Gardens


Altgeld Gardens was built in the 1940s and was one of the first public housing developments in Chicago. It was initially constructed to provide affordable housing for African American war industry workers during World War II.


The development is situated in the Riverdale neighborhood, near the confluence of the Little Calumet River and the Calumet River. It is relatively isolated from the rest of the city, surrounded by industrial areas and separated from other neighborhoods by railroad tracks and waterways.


Altgeld Gardens consists mainly of low-rise brick buildings. Originally, it was a 1,498-unit complex designed to house working-class families.

Environmental Issues

Altgeld Gardens has been affected by environmental issues. The area is adjacent to landfills and industrial facilities, leading to concerns about pollution and environmental justice. Residents have faced challenges related to air and water quality, with high levels of contaminants reported in the past.

Community Challenges

Over the years, Altgeld Gardens has faced socio-economic challenges, including issues related to crime, unemployment, and limited access to educational and recreational resources. These challenges have contributed to the neighborhood's reputation for being economically disadvantaged.

Community Activism

Residents of Altgeld Gardens have been actively involved in community organizing and activism. Environmental justice concerns, in particular, have spurred local residents to advocate for improved living conditions and environmental remediation.

Public Transit

Altgeld Gardens is located in a relatively remote area, and public transportation options may be limited, making access to services and employment opportunities a challenge for residents.

Redevelopment Efforts

In recent years, there have been efforts to revitalize and improve conditions in Altgeld Gardens. These initiatives have included housing redevelopment projects, community engagement programs, and environmental justice advocacy.

It's important to note that while Altgeld Gardens has faced significant challenges, its residents and community organizations have been resilient in advocating for positive change. Efforts to address environmental concerns, improve living conditions, and create opportunities for residents are ongoing. Learn more about a nearby area called Chinatown!

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