Louisville Housing Projects: Clarksdale

P1%20Liberty%20Green-%20Clarksdale4780[1]Louisville like many other cities around the US began building during the 1930’s and 1940’s housing projects to publicly house many of it’s lower income citizens. The housing project model eventually was seen as a prison model for dealing with poverty. With the housing projects erupting all over the US, eventually Louisville would see it’s first one go up, Clarksdale Homes in 1939.

map of clarksdaleClarksdale had 58 two and three story buildings. It was positioned just on the east side of downtown Louisville and had approximately 29 acres.

The interesting thing about living in a “good” or “bad” area is that regardless of it’s reputation, there are memories and moments that are never forgotten. Birthday parties, Graduations and Family Picnics all remembered and associated with the place.

As well though, many times these places can contain horrible memories we hope to escape.

Clarksdale for many people was home. It was what they had. With 713 units, it was the home at sometime for thousands of people. But eventually with concentrated poverty and drugs being pressed hard on the streets, these homes became an area of crime, murder and gang wars.

When you have several generations grow up in a place it’s hard to see it go.

Eventually it was time for the city to step in and make a change. They came up with Hope VI Revitalization. With an over $40 million grant, they designed a format to tear down the Clarksdale homes and to build mixed income apartments, townhouses and for sale houses. Between 2004 and 2009, people were relocated, the homes were demolished and the new area(known as Liberty Green) was built.

There have been mixed reviews by different people on how it has been since moving back into the area now known as Liberty Green. Most affirm the need for the project to happen but few are somewhat heart broken by the community they once knew being gone.

Notable Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarksdale_Housing_Complex
http://www.lmha1.org/hope_vi/clarksdale_hope_vi_revitalization.php
http://www.wave3.com/story/3874768/relocation-of-clarksdale-residents-nears-completion

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