restricted access The “800-Pound Gargoyle”: The Long History of Higher Education and Urban Development on Chicago’s South Side
Abstract

Today colleges and universities are the dominant employers, real estate holders, policing agents, and educational and health care providers in major cities where they once played a less prominent role. Neighborhoods of color surrounding urban campuses are left most vulnerable to the for-profit developments of higher education, because the land is cheap and the citizens hold little political influence. This essay examines the long-standing relationship between the University of Chicago (U of C) and black communities surrounding the campus to chronicle the rise of what I call “UniverCities.” The U of C’s historic control of urban development on the South Side helps explain why higher education must be placed alongside the state and the financial sector as a key institutional catalyst shaping the growth and development of the twenty-first-century city.


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