A Black-owned housing cooperative in Chicago dissolves, leaving a trail of mystery and mismanagement, grantee reveals

As Chicago began to integrate its neighborhoods in the late 1940s, Tudor Gables emerged as one of the first Black-owned cooperative apartment buildings in Chicago’s Drexel Boulevard, the boundary between white Hyde Park and Bronzeville, a Black neighborhood. Black Chicagoans had been developing cooperative businesses such as groceries and credit unions for years, but in the 1940s, aided by a Supreme Court ruling that nixed protective covenants long used keep minorities out, Black residents began creating housing cooperatives to build equity and integrate neighborhoods. In a three-part series for the Hyde Park Herald, supported by the Fund, reporter Emeline Posner traced the history of Tudor Gables, and its ultimate disintegration and sale. Posner built her stories on interviews with shareholders, lawyers, contractors and neighbors, as well as internal emails and documents about the legacy of the building, which was one of the oldest continuously operating Black-owned co-ops in Chicago.