CHICAGO — Sweet treats and a taste of history. At the corner of 47th Street and Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream is serving up nostalgia.

“I like to call it a journey of faith — literally,” owner Yahya Muhammad said. “Because I had a vision of what we have today before we actually had the opportunity to come here.”

Shawn Michelle’s opened in 2019 in the Rosenwald Courts as part of a new chapter for the building with a storied past. 

“We stand on the shoulders of those who paved the way for us,” Muhammad said. “You can just go down the list of those who are just icons that lived here in the Rosenwald building.”

In this WGN-TV Cover Story, Gaynor Hall, Chaundanine Oluwole and photojournalist Brad Piper take a closer look at the building’s history and the community it inspired.

“It was a wonderful world. It was a special world,” former resident Gwendolyn Johnson said.