Re: North Lawndale
Date: April 03, 2014 07:11AM
Mr Berwyn Frank: some time ago, I stumbled across your blog, when I did a google image search of "16th & Lawndale", with the hope that I'd perhaps, see an old photo, or two, of that area! I then saw your elevated view of a photo of 18th & Millard, circa the early 1900's, and I must admit, I have been studiously enthralled, and digesting your blog ever since! That was two months ago! Your pics have brought back so many memories for me, of an era not quite within the same time scope you often cite. You see, my family moved there in 1956, at the very beginning of the African-American influx. As I recall we moved into a very large, very dark-bricked apartment building at 1642 S.Lawndale, and from kindergarten to 8th grade, I'd walk from there to Blessed Sacrament School at Cermak and Central Park, past the old phone center, and that Oldsmobile Rocket dealership on Ogden Ave. and C.Park! Then later I took the El train at the C.Park station all the way downtown to Holy Name Cathedral High! We lived in Lawndale until 1972, and like so many others, migrated further west to the Austin area afterwards. I particularly remember the blizzard of '67, walking to school thru it, and the reddish, purplish tint of the skies as 16th St. burned ferociously during the M.L. King riots there in April '68! I have read the comments here from many who considered the area to have been very dangerous during that time, however, that is not the way I recall it; I remember many of the Conservative Vice Lords gang members, and even Black Panther members taking specific pangs to make sure Those like myself, would never be involved with their type of activities! But, I could go on here forever reminiscing about those days to you. More specifically, I'd like to know, thru your extensive experience, and commitment to keeping the historic record of N. Lawndale, is there any directions you can provide to me on how to research, and possibly acquire archival photos of that specific block, as I'm sure surveyors, city depts, or the city itself, for various reasons, probably kept visual/photographic records of this area; I just don't know where to start my research! Do you have any suggestions, or advice, on which way I should go?