National Public Housing Museum

A large banner covers the side of a boarded up brick building

The National Public Housing Museum is the only cultural institution devoted to telling the story of public housing in the United States.

Plan your visit

Outdoor installation open to the public.

Public murals by Njideka Akunyili Crosby
July 22, 2021–March 1, 2022

In a public installation as part of Toward Common Cause, the NPHM presents murals by Njideka Akunyili Crosby on the facade of the last remaining building of the former Jane Addams Homes on Chicago’s Near West Side. The installation features reproductions of two works: Mother and Child (2016) and The Beautyful Ones, Series #9 (2018).

Other initiatives

This installation is connected to another presentation of murals by Akynyili Crosby on the façade of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Minnie Riperton Apartments. In addition, a cohort of young people from the joint Smart Museum of Art and CHA Teen Program engaged with their elders on a related oral history project that will be included in the NPHM archives and activated through programming.


The mission of the National Public Housing Museum is to preserve, promote, and propel the right of all people to a place where they can live and prosper—a place to call home.

NPHM’s permanent home will be located in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes on Chicago’s Near West Side, a 48,000-square-foot space that is the largest artifact in the Museum’s collection. The Jane Addams Homes were named after the Nobel Prize-winning peace activist and social reformer who founded the HullHouse Settlement. Designed by John Holabird, one of the nation’s most respected architects at the time, the Addams complex showcased a new vision for housing poor and working class people in need of homes. The complex was home to tens of thousands of diverse, working-class families for more than six decades. Vacant since 2002, at the urgent requests of public housing residents, the Chicago Housing Authority leadership agreed to save one building from demolition for the new Museum. Exhibitions and programs will be designed to encourage the public to discover, learn and build a more just nation through a robust civic life