Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kew Gardens – Part 3

In August 1956, the end of the line for Kew Gardens finally loomed into view. The Lorain Journal of August 23, 1956 announced that the buildings would be sold. The article also provides a short history of Kew Gardens.

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Kew Gardens To Go On Block
69 Buildings To Be Sold In 30 Days
Last 2 Families Will Move Soon

Sixty-nine buildings and fixtures at the 10-year old Kew Gardens veterans’ housing project in the East Side will go on sale to the public Sept. 3, it was announced today by Willard Francis, director of the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Francis said the sale will mark the end of the temporary housing project which was erected in 1946 to relieve acute housing problems of World War II veterans and their families.

HE STRESSED that the buildings must be sold and removed from the property within 30 days after the sale begins.

“The buildings will be sold individually, if necessary, and anyone may purchase all of the buildings if the right price is offered,” Francis said.

Fixtures to be sold will include toilets, tanks, lavatory bowls, gas hot water heaters, gas space heaters, apartment-size gas ranges and combination sink and laundry trays, showers, and clothes poles.

Francis said he will handle the sale of the buildings, beginning Sept. 3, at the LMHA offices at 2150 Lorain Rd., Leavitt Homes project.

The sales of fixtures will take place at the Kew Gardens project. All fixture purchasers will be required to remove items they buy from the buildings.

“Only two families are still living in the Kew Gardens project,” Francis said. “Both of them will be out of the project within 10 days.”

There were 138 families living in 70 buildings at the project during most of the 10 years it has been in existence. One of the buildings was destroyed by fire.

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The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority ran ads promoting the sale in the local newspapers. Here is the version that ran in the Lorain Journal near the end of August.
Here is the slightly different Chronicle-Telegram version (courtesy Rick Kurish).
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Remember the 1952 Historic Aerial of Kew Gardens that I posted yesterday? Here is is again (below).
And here’s the same view in 1962, six years after the sale of the quonset huts.
Today the former Kew Gardens property is covered with trees with no evidence the post-WWII housing project was ever there.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

They should have held on to them for two more years. Many including my husbands family and other families moving here from Memphis, TN and Buffalo, NY had difficulty finding a home in 1958. My husbands family doubled up in one side of Cromwell Gardens duplex with the Dye family until they could locate housing.

Seems like they wanted Kew Gardens gone in a hurry. Wonder where they went.

Rae

Dan Brady said...

Hi Rae,
There may be a couple still in Lorain, which is the subject of tomorrow's post. But I agree – I wonder where they all went?

alan tois said...

I talked with a lady about 15-20 years ago that told me she grew up "back there, across from drug mart", and said that there were people living in tents and trailers and there was a market. I found it hard to believe at the time. she said they lived in a tent for 6 months. thanks for the always interesting info