Interview with Ed Marciniak

Well there was seriously substandard housing and it was Black people that lived in it, and there wasn't a whole lot happening to change that or was there?


Well, there, there were Black people living in the s- in the slums. There were White people, fewer numbers, living in the slums. They weren't all, they weren't all Blacks by an- by any stretch of the imagination. Ah, the area on the near side where there was some Italian communities, ah, was called little liddi- little, little Italy, ah, and twenty-five years later the Italians discovered they were living in a slum. So the, the, those weren't the only areas. Ah, I think, ah, ah, the mayor participated very, ah, enthusiastically in every federal program which had been initiated to improve housing in the city. Ah, I, ah, I visited some of these slum buildings. Ah, I visited a building, for example, that was going to be torn down to make room for a public housing project and there were kids swarming on the back porches, ah, running up and down. It was a spring day. And I started walking up the steps and my guide said, "Don't go up those steps." And I said "Why?" "They're unsafe." But yet these kids were running up and down. Well, those buildings went down. So there was a, a considerable amount of slum clearance and the building of new buildings like public housing projects, ah, the large scale, ah, ah, lo- middle income developments along the lakefront. They were put up by, ah, men like Fred Cramerp--