Activists fight to prevent CPS from tearing down historic building in Altgeld Gardens

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Community activists are trying to prevent Chicago Public Schools from demolishing a historic building on Chicago’s Far South Side.

Most of these buildings date back to the 1940s, when Altgeld Gardens was built for returning African-American service members from World War II.  

The specific building is known as Building C. It was the school for the children of those service members. It was built in 1944 and closed up in the mid 1980s. Since then, it has sat abandoned for all of that time.

Recently, residents learned that CPS plans to tear this building down. They say it is another sign of disinvestment in their community, and want the chance to take the property over to be utilized as a community or job training center. 

Estate preservation society nominated this building and others to be put on the national historic register, which would make it nearly impossible to tear down. 

CPS wants to begin demolition by the end of this month, saying in a statement, in part, “this building poses many imminent safety concerns and as well beyond its useable life.”

CPS wants to develop a new playground and turf field at the site to transform the space into an asset for the community.

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