Chicago Landmarks

Lorraine Hansberry House

Lorraine Hansberry House     Address: 6140 S. Rhodes Ave.
Year Built: 1909
Architect: Albert G. Ferree
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: February 10, 2010

Back cover of A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry 1930-1965 For its associations with the Chicago Black Renaissance literary movement and iconic 20th-century African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the Lorraine Hansberry House possesses exceptional historic and cultural significance. Although subject to a racially-discriminatory housing covenant, this building was purchased in 1937 by African-American real estate developer Carl Hansberry. Despite threats, Hansberry moved his family into the building and waged a three-year-long battle culminating in a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was an important victory in the effort to outlaw racially-restrictive housing covenants. Hansberry's daughter, pioneering playwright Lorraine Hansberry, drew inspiration from this traumatic experience when writing A Raisin in the Sun. This groundbreaking play was the first drama by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway.