Every so often a neighborhood undergoes a refresh. For better or worse, the Southwest refresh has happened with more frequency than most neighborhoods. For some Southwest residents, it has happened too much; for others it is welcomed with open arms. Either way this newspaper calls on fellow neighbors to embrace the coming changes with the spirit that Southwest has always had: an inclusive neighborhood for all.
During the Urban Renewal of the 1950s, only a few buildings were left intact: a few residences, the Wheat Row townhouses, the Thomas Law House, the Maine Avenue fish market, and the St. Dominic’s and Friendship churches. Everyone and everything else was new. That said, what was born new was a community and new way of life, where blacks and whites lived side by side, where gays found inclusion, and where religious beliefs did not separate neighbors. To some that will come as new news. Others will call it old news. But it is surely not fake news.
We invite you to walk the Southwest Heritage Trail and regain a sense of where we come from as we step into our next phase this fall. Read the multiple stories of our past. Watch Southwest Remembered.
Photo caption: Titled “River Farms to Urban Towers Southwest Heritage Trail,” this trail gives us 17 waypoints to help us know where we are coming from to ensure we never forget.
From Native Americans to European settlers, from trading post to pig farms, and from Urban Renewal to The Wharf, our “little quadrant that could,” has one constant—it’s always changing.
With this neighborhood refresh, The Southwester will do the same. We believe that every so often the house needs a thorough cleaning. Come our September issue, we will have a new look and feel. If you’ve followed us online, you’ve seen a refresh of our website and social media presence. To that end, we also call on new community leaders to step forward. The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, by way of neighborhood vote, is in the process of refreshing as well. Their new seven-member board will undertake an ambitious plan to grow its presence in the neighborhood and ensure better service to those it serves.
Let us embrace the changes ahead. For every time we have, we have come out a stronger, more welcoming, and more inclusive neighborhood.
By: The Southwester Staff