Notes on the Geography of The Heartland State: Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Eastside: Photo 51
Background: in 1961 the city's new Urban Renewal Authority hired the illustrious I.M. Pei. On the basis of his recommendations, the city in 1964 adopted a General Neighborhood Renewal Plan, at first covering 528 acres but expanded the next year to 1,350. The idea was to clear the city's core and create a new office district, a convention center, a cultural center, a retail center, and a major residential area. The plan was adopted in 1965 but divided into stages, the largest of which was the 1,258-acre Kennedy Project, on the east side. Here the city sought to demolish 3,996 homes. Federal money flowed between 1967 and 1973, then stopped when the job was half done. Now you understand the desolation of the previous pictures. And now you also understand why the replacement homes in the Kennedy Project--in this case on Wisconsin Avenue--were all built in the early 1970s. They all run about 1,300 feet and are presently worth about $50,000. The neighborhood is as black as ever.
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