Built 1890s

Demolished 1950s

Demolished 1960s

Demolished 1970s

Still Standing


Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin, setting off “…some of the essential convulsions of the nineteenth century in this country. The cotton gin made it possible to grow medium- and short-staple cotton commercially, which led to the spread of the cotton plantation from a small coastal area to most of the South. As cotton planting expanded, so did slavery, and slavery’s becoming the central institution of the Southern economy was the central precondition of the Civil War.”


“The first time the federal government considered reparations for black people was in 1865, when 400,000 acres of coastal land were awarded to former slaves, the result of a special order issued by the Union general, William T. Sherman. It lasted less than a year. When President Abraham Lincoln died, he was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, who rescinded Sherman’s order.”


Mississippi is readmitted to the Union.


Restoration to Power of the all-white Democratic Party/the “Race Riot” of 1875

Walter R. Vaughan proposes H.R. 11119.


The Illinois Central Railroad buys the Delta’s main rail system.


The World’s Columbian Exposition is held no the south side of Chicago.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett founds the first Black woman’s club (the Tourgee Ladies’ Club, later renamed the Ida B. Wells Club).


The Chicago Defender is founded by Robert Sengstacke.


Ida B. Wells-Barnett founds the Negro Fellowship League.


Chicago’s black population is 44,000.


World War I begins.


Robert S. Abbot, publisher of the Chicago Defender, launches “The Great Northern Drive.”


World War I ends.


Ada Sophia Dennison Mckinley starts the settlement house, providing food resources, relocation assistance, and employment services for Black soldiers returning from the war and migrants coming from southern states.

A race riot breaks out on the South Side after a black boy named Eugene Williams is stoned to death by a group of white youths.


83% of Black Chicagoans are born outside of Illinois. 65% of Black Chicagoans have moved from the South.

The Negro Fellowship league closes its doors due to lack of funding.

The price of cotton falls to ten cents a pound.

The black population in Chicago is 109,000.


The Tulsa Race Massacre (also known as the Black Wall Street Massacre).


The year acreage planted to cotton peaks in the Delta and the Southern cotton belt.


Chicago’s black population is 234,000.


John and Mack Rust demonstrate their cotton picker at an agricultural experiment station, and during the late 1930s/1940s at a plantation outside of Clarksdale.


Congress creates the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with the National Housing Act of 1934.


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe arrives to the Armour Institute Department of Architecture. Mies’s masterplan calls for the demolition of the Armour Mission and Armour Institute buildings.


World War II Begins.


The Armour Institute merges with the Lewis Institute to form the Illinois Institute of Technology.


IIT goes public with its plans for a new campus.


October 2, 1944: “…the day of the first public demonstration of a working, production-ready model of the mechanical cotton picker…”


World War II ends.


Shelley vs. Kraemer (The Supreme Court rules that racial deed restrictions and convenants are unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.)

The Federal Housing Act of 1949 provides federal financing for slum clearance and urban renewal programs, as well as funding for more than 800,000 new units of public housing.


The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation of children in public schools is unconstitutional.


The Vietnam War Begins.
Rosa Parks refuses to vie up her seat to a white woman on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year old African American is murdered in Mississippi after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store.

Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus. This helps to initiate the Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by Martin Luther King Jr.


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.


Freedom Summer, or the Mississippi Summer Project is met with violent resistance from the Ku Klux Klan and law enforcement.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Congress passes The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or the Southeast Asia Resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia.


Malcolm X is killed at the Audobon Ballroom in New York.

 On “Bloody Sunday,” approximately 600 people begin a 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to the state Capitol in Montgomery to commemorate the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. Protesters are brutally assaulted by law enforcement on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

President Johnson signs the Voting Right Act of 1965.


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

President Johnson signs the Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibiting discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and sex.


The Vietnam War ends.


 The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA) holds its founding meeting.


“In 1989, Representative John Conyers Jr, who retired in 2017, introduced legislation to create a commission develop proposals for reparations. He introduced it every year for nearly 30 years. It went nowhere. Even President Barack Obama opposed reparations, calling the idea impractical.” - Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The Soviet Union collapses and the Cold War ends. 


Pigford v. Glickman
(Hear the part of the story through the 1619 Project.)


Housing Bronzeville forms to promote affordable housing.


Black People Against Police Torture (BPAPT) makes an initial call for reparations for Burge torture survivors. 


The Chicago City Council passes the reparations package for the Burge torture survivors and their family members. 


Sponsored by Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act” is presented before Congress. This “would authorize $12 million for a 13-member commission to study the effects of slavery and make recommendations to Congress.”


The murder of George Floyd adds momentum to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and widespread protesting occurs across the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zarrow Families Foundation announces it will devote $6 million to a Commemoration Fund, named in honor of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and devoted to addressing racial inequality in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Asheville, North Carolina approves Reparations for Black residents and promises to provide funding for Black homeownership and business opportunities.


The first expenditures of Evanston’s municipal reparations program are approved. 

Chicago aldermen begin to debate Reparations for descendants of enslaved people.

The press announces “House Judiciary to Hold Historic Markup of H.R. 40, Legislation to Study and Develop Slavery Reparations Proposals.”

The Virginia Theological Seminary begins giving cash Reparations to the descendants of those forced to work there. 

“The Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County extends to former residents of Athens’ Urban Renewal Districts, their descendants, and to all Athenians a deep and sincere expression of apology and regret for the pain and loss stemming from this time, and a sincere commitment to work toward better outcomes in all we do moving forward.” 

UChicago Students, Nearby Residents Demand University Give $1 Billion In Reparations To South Side Neighborhoods


California’s reparations task force votes that only Black Californians who can prove a direct lineage to enslaved ancestors will be eligible for the statewide initiative to address the harms and enduring legacy of slavery.