• Brian Jackson/Sun-Times Media
  • New townhomes have replaced dilapidated old structures at Cabrini-Green. But what’s happened to the former residents?

This is the fourth of a five-part look at how the murder of a seven-year-old 20 years ago still reverberates nationwide. You can read the first installment here, the second here, and the third here.

The new landscape of public housing is only a small part of the aftermath of the 1992 shooting of Dantrell Davis. Communities across Chicago have been reborn. By some measures, others have been devastated.

Neighborhoods around some of the old high-rise sites, such as swaths of Bronzeville and the Near North community that once included Cabrini, have opened up to new investment. When I drove through the Cabrini area last summer with Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., who grew up there, he pointed to new glass-and-steel high-rises and immaculate row houses as signs of progress. “People from Cabrini live in this building, in this complex, and these are all new developments. I’m making sure the Cabrini folks have a place to stay over in this neighborhood.”

Maybe so, but the efforts have only brought a fraction of former public housing residents back to their old communities, for better and for worse.