Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Conservation Areas
Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, conservation areas were primarily residential districts whose physical condition urban planners judged to be between “near-blighted” and “stable.” The 1943 Master Plan of Residential Land Use of Chicago found that 56 square miles of Chicago constituted conservation areas. After the Urban Community Conservation Act of 1953 became Illinois law, Chicago established the Community Conservation Board, empowered to recognize tracts of 40 acres or more as conservation areas. Officially designated conservation areas, including Hyde Park and Uptown, were eligible to receive improvement funds and city planning services. Although conservation was theoretically distinct from urban renewal, in practice the two often blurred.

Chicago Plan Commission. Master Plan of Residential Land Use of Chicago. 1943.
Conservation: A Report to the Conservation Committee of the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council by Its Conservation Study Staff. 1953.
Hirsch, Arnold R. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940–1960. 1983.