In 1929, the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments were constructed at the intersection of 47th Street and Michigan Avenue to provide working class African-Americans with quality affordable housing. For several decades, this complex was a desirable place to live and raise a family. It was well managed and profitable for the owners. However, after several ownership changes, occasions of mismanagement, and years of neglect, the complex currently lies vacant. No children play in its courtyard, no businesses occupy the busy 47th Street storefronts and the prospects for the building’s future look dim.
While developers had hoped to revitalize the building with financial assistance from the City of Chicago, plans to redevelop The Rosenwald are all stalled as the complex continues to decay. If maintenance and rehabilitation is not provided soon, the complex will be damaged beyond repair.
Update: In the spring of 2010, at the urging of 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, the Urban Land Institute released a feasibility study for the Rosenwald. The conclusion was that it would take upwards of $100 million to fully rehabilitate the complex.
In the spring of 2011, it was reported that a redevelopment team was seriously looking at the rehabilitation of the Rosenwald and was in high-level discussions with the city. However, no official announcement has been made. Preservation Chicago continues to monitor the situation.