Chicago Gang History

Status: Demolished

Maplewood Courts

LocationJackson Boulevard on the north, Van Buren Street on the south, Maplewood Avenue on the east, railroad tracks on the...
NeighborhoodNear West Side
Constructed1961
Demolished2014

 

This project complex was one of CHA’s later developments that were built as two 7 story mid-rise towers in the year 1961.  These were basically an extension of the Rockwell Gardens; however, they were a complex of their own.  When the Rockwell Gardens started to experience crime, gangs and drug activity, so did the Maplewood Courts that escalated by the late 1970s. 

The buildings began experiencing deterioration as CHA could not find the funding to make repairs on time.  The elevators began to not function well and broke many of times.  Transient gang members hung out in the lobbies selling drugs, drinking alcohol and harassing residents while transient drug addicts slept in the lobbies smoking crack and shooting heroin out in the open.  In the fall of 1993 New Life Security came to these projects as unarmed Muslim men that kept the vast majority of the crime out of these buildings but by 1995 their contract was done and the old problems returned (Chicago Tribune Jerry Thomas, February 22, 1994).

In the year 2000 CHA hired East Lake Management & Development Co to tend to this property along with several others.  East Lake was in charge of the buildings which meant taking care of repairs, East Lake immediately failed to keep the place up and law suits were filed against to company with claims of injury and neglect, residents began moving out in large numbers in the 2000s decade until the property became vacant and was eventually demolished in 2014.

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