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Old 10-19-2010, 12:28 AM
 
1 posts, read 10,443 times
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I have a relative who passed away in 1956, living at the address of 6611 Interlaken Ave. Never having visited Birmingham, I have done some searching and understand this to be part of Gate City, a neighborhood with a number of social problems. Looking at overhead maps I can't quite tell if (what appears to be) public housing currently at that address is more recent than 1956, and if so, what kind of neighborhood it would have been that long ago? Any kind of help would be very appreciated!

--Edit: looks like this would have been Charles P. Marks Village, which opened in 1952 as white-only public housing. So I guess the question could be re-framed as: what kind of people moved into public housing in the early 1950s in Birmingham -- those without retirement savings, or those who were truly poor? And when did this public housing start going downhill -- as early as the mid 50s, or quite a bit later?

Last edited by pl212; 10-19-2010 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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Default Gate City in the 1950's

I was born and lived in Gate City from 1946 until 1965. It was a wonderful community during that time. Even after the project was built it was a small home town community that looked out after each other. There is a Gate City reunion held every year at Jeff State Community College. A child could walk anywhere in Gate City at that time with no thoughts of being harmed. Sometimes I really long for those days gone by. Gate City School had an excellent rating and today it has a failure rating. I will not drive through Gate City now there have been so many robberies and murders however I heard recently that they are trying to clean it up. I hope they do, I hate to think that my home town is now a bad place to be in.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:19 PM
Miv
 
Location: Birmingham, AL
156 posts, read 350,974 times
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Gate city is the ghetto.
It went downhill after integration and white flight.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:28 AM
 
2 posts, read 19,285 times
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Were you one of the ones that left? Why don't you show your full name, I did. You may consider Gate City a ghetto now but at one time it was a wonderful community. I am proud to say I grew up there and attended Gate City School then on to Woodlawn High.At the time the person who originally posted about her relative living there in 1956 Gate City was wonderful & I still enjoy the reunions when I am able to attend although they are not held in Gate City. Gate City started going downhill in the late sixties..... Judy Holloway Tucker

Last edited by Judy Holloway Tucker; 04-19-2012 at 07:34 AM.. Reason: additions
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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I am a gate city LUM, back in the 50's i would cut grass for 50 cent a yard. Went to Gate City school and remember the old wooden school building. May be a ghetto now but back in the 50's you leave your doors unlocked and stay out late. We lived on Kemberly Ave and live at the the end of Interlaken Ave that turned into a durt road. When to the with church on Interlaken Ave.

Robert Mitchell

Last edited by robmitch45; 04-23-2012 at 08:06 PM.. Reason: add name
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 19,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pl212 View Post
I have a relative who passed away in 1956, living at the address of 6611 Interlaken Ave. Never having visited Birmingham, I have done some searching and understand this to be part of Gate City, a neighborhood with a number of social problems. Looking at overhead maps I can't quite tell if (what appears to be) public housing currently at that address is more recent than 1956, and if so, what kind of neighborhood it would have been that long ago? Any kind of help would be very appreciated!

--Edit: looks like this would have been Charles P. Marks Village, which opened in 1952 as white-only public housing. So I guess the question could be re-framed as: what kind of people moved into public housing in the early 1950s in Birmingham -- those without retirement savings, or those who were truly poor? And when did this public housing start going downhill -- as early as the mid 50s, or quite a bit later?
I lived there we might have been poor, but I did not know it. We have food on the table evey night had nice cloths to wear. When down hill in the mid 60"s to the early 70's. Don't knot it until you have tryed it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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My mother grew up near Gate City, went to Gate City School and Gate City Baptist. My Aunt was one of the first residents of Mark's Village after it opened. I think you had to have some sort of financial hardship to live there, but it was safe, a nice place to live. She wasn't there very long. I went to Gate City Baptist during my childhood in the 70's and the area had a bad rep even then.

Some parts of the Gate City area are looking up, believe it or not. Mom would take me and some of my friends up to nearby Gate City Mt(Ruffner Mt) to hike when i was growing up, with never a thought of anything bad happening. We would explore the abandoned rock quarries and wonder about the campfires that looked like they had always just been put out. Mom would say it was probably just some hobos. Now, Ruffner Mt is one of the largest, if not the largest, privately owned urban parks in the country, and where we used to hike just behind the hobos, Ruffner Mt Nature Center hosts activities such as educational school outings and ultra runs. Most people use the Irondale side to access the Mt, but at least something positive is happening close by.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:49 PM
 
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I guess i could have mentioned Gate City in the 50's. Mom said it was simply the best. Blue Collar, yes, but safe, and friendly. She always tells storys about attending Gate City Baptist, one of the most vibrant Baptist churches in the area at that time. Howard College, now Samford, was just down the road in East Lake and a lot of the seminary students would make Gate City Baptist their home away from home church. My grandmother, especially during WWII, would board those students, since it was just her and my mom in the house, with pretty much everone else in the family gone off to fight, or work in the war effort. As a child, she swears she could walk anywhere, by herself, at any time of the day or night. That place no longer exists, sadly.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:04 AM
 
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My best friend Jimmy Wallace lived there and we attended Woodlawn high back in 1965. He became a Jefferson County police officer. Jimmy died a young man from a brain tumor. I still miss him to this day.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:58 PM
 
1,892 posts, read 3,084,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidron93 View Post
My best friend Jimmy Wallace lived there and we attended Woodlawn high back in 1965. He became a Jefferson County police officer. Jimmy died a young man from a brain tumor. I still miss him to this day.

'Bittersweet' memories. I guess most of us have some. I appreciate you sharing yours.
It seems that the best friends often are around the shortest time. I hope he knew how you felt.

Best wishes,
Raj
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