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Old 05-24-2021, 04:39 PM
 
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Lake Station and Hobart border the city of Gary, but have incredibly small black populations compared to the Steel City and haven't seen much growth. Why is that? Is it because Lake Station and Hobart have (had) unwelcoming/racist reputations towards black people and outsiders in general? Does it have to do with the fact that Lake Station and Hobart don't have a ton of apartments/rental housing? (especially compared to Merrillville and even Portage, whose black population has really started to grow) Or could it have something to do with the fact that most of Hobart and Lake Station are separated/cut off from Gary by I-65, I-80/90, and I-94?

When I say Hobart, I mean the School City of Hobart part of Hobart in Hobart Township, not the Ross Township section of Hobart which is Merrillville Community Schools and is pretty rural but has a fair number of black people.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Lake Station and Hobart border the city of Gary, but have incredibly small black populations compared to the Steel City and haven't seen much growth. Why is that? Is it because Lake Station and Hobart have (had) unwelcoming/racist reputations towards black people and outsiders in general? Does it have to do with the fact that Lake Station and Hobart don't have a ton of apartments/rental housing? (especially compared to Merrillville and even Portage, whose black population has really started to grow) Or could it have something to do with the fact that most of Hobart and Lake Station are separated/cut off from Gary by I-65, I-80/90, and I-94?

When I say Hobart, I mean the School City of Hobart part of Hobart in Hobart Township, not the Ross Township section of Hobart which is Merrillville Community Schools and is pretty rural but has a fair number of black people.
Probably the same reason Gary has a very small percentage of white people. You sound somewhat familiar 2
with the area, but my interpretation of Lake Station was a mostly white but very poor town. I don't frequent the area too often, but am curious as to what others have to say.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:31 PM
 
253 posts, read 333,327 times
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Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Probably the same reason Gary has a very small percentage of white people. You sound somewhat familiar 2
with the area, but my interpretation of Lake Station was a mostly white but very poor town. I don't frequent the area too often, but am curious as to what others have to say.
Lake Station is super poor but now has a sizeable Hispanic population but still very few blacks. It's not a good area by most people's standards. Hobart is definitely blue collar hometown pride. People have lived there for generations. More Hispanics there now, and some blacks have moved into the newer subdivisions near St Mary Medical north of 61st, but still very white.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:26 AM
 
2,133 posts, read 5,099,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Lake Station and Hobart border the city of Gary, but have incredibly small black populations compared to the Steel City and haven't seen much growth. Why is that? Is it because Lake Station and Hobart have (had) unwelcoming/racist reputations towards black people and outsiders in general? Does it have to do with the fact that Lake Station and Hobart don't have a ton of apartments/rental housing? (especially compared to Merrillville and even Portage, whose black population has really started to grow) Or could it have something to do with the fact that most of Hobart and Lake Station are separated/cut off from Gary by I-65, I-80/90, and I-94?

When I say Hobart, I mean the School City of Hobart part of Hobart in Hobart Township, not the Ross Township section of Hobart which is Merrillville Community Schools and is pretty rural but has a fair number of black people.
The very general answer to this is that when people move out of Gary and have the means to “move up”, Lake Station is really not on the radar at all. Yes, the school system is better than Gary but with the housing stock being very similar—remember, Lake Station used to be “East Gary”—it is just not seen as a place to “move to” for the Black population in the same way that Merrillville, Portage, and Crown Point are. Historically, the price differential between Lake Station and Gary was also just enough to invoke the feeling of “why would I pay more to live in LS when I can get the same thing here for cheaper and where I’ve always known?”

Regarding Hobart, one thing to remember is that despite bordering Gary, there is more of a buffer (highway and forest/farm land) between Hobart and Gary whereas Merrillville abuts right up to Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood in nearly a contiguous fashion. While both Merrillville and Hobart were both not seen as accepting of Black people in the past decades, the different is that at the time (think the 70s and 80s), Merrillville was also attracting a more educated population overall as compared to Hobart and Lake Station. Additionally, Hobart had some financial issues which prevented them from expanding infrastructure to encourage growth. Hobart is just starting to catch up with more growth in recent years and also a push for more upscale housing. With that being said, some folks believe that the lack of major growth like Merrillville was a blessing in disguise.

When it comes to Portage, the prices are also pretty affordable and for homeowners, taxes lower which also makes it more attractive. Between Merrillville and Portage, yes, apartments also factor into the growth of the Black population but also Black homeowners are attracted to both areas as well.

Crown Point mostly has seen growth in the Black population mostly north of 101st in Ross Township as well as growth in Winfield. However, growth south of 101st in CP is increasing as well (much to the dismay of some).

If you look just on the other side of Gary at Griffith, while the Black population is not necessarily small, it is very segregated. The vast majority of the Black population in Griffith lives in The Mansards or other apartments east of Cline. The other neighborhoods in Griffith are mostly White and the difference is also very noticeable at the elementary school level. This also factored into why many residents were upset when Ready Elementary School closed because that’s where “Mansards kids” went.

One other thing to mention is that with the internet and greater access to information, more people in general just know more about other areas than ever before. It was much easier for housing discrimination to take place before the internet and while it still definitely and unfortunately happens now, it is not as easy to get away with. A lot of people who are Black and moving to suburban areas of NWI also are not from NWI especially when looking at places in western Lake County suburbs.

One thing about humans in general is that no matter how diverse we are in many ways, we are also very predictable creatures and in NWI, migratory patterns are pretty easy to predict.
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:51 PM
 
253 posts, read 333,327 times
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Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
The very general answer to this is that when people move out of Gary and have the means to “move up”, Lake Station is really not on the radar at all. Yes, the school system is better than Gary but with the housing stock being very similar—remember, Lake Station used to be “East Gary”—it is just not seen as a place to “move to” for the Black population in the same way that Merrillville, Portage, and Crown Point are. Historically, the price differential between Lake Station and Gary was also just enough to invoke the feeling of “why would I pay more to live in LS when I can get the same thing here for cheaper and where I’ve always known?”

Regarding Hobart, one thing to remember is that despite bordering Gary, there is more of a buffer (highway and forest/farm land) between Hobart and Gary whereas Merrillville abuts right up to Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood in nearly a contiguous fashion. While both Merrillville and Hobart were both not seen as accepting of Black people in the past decades, the different is that at the time (think the 70s and 80s), Merrillville was also attracting a more educated population overall as compared to Hobart and Lake Station. Additionally, Hobart had some financial issues which prevented them from expanding infrastructure to encourage growth. Hobart is just starting to catch up with more growth in recent years and also a push for more upscale housing. With that being said, some folks believe that the lack of major growth like Merrillville was a blessing in disguise.

When it comes to Portage, the prices are also pretty affordable and for homeowners, taxes lower which also makes it more attractive. Between Merrillville and Portage, yes, apartments also factor into the growth of the Black population but also Black homeowners are attracted to both areas as well.

Crown Point mostly has seen growth in the Black population mostly north of 101st in Ross Township as well as growth in Winfield. However, growth south of 101st in CP is increasing as well (much to the dismay of some).

If you look just on the other side of Gary at Griffith, while the Black population is not necessarily small, it is very segregated. The vast majority of the Black population in Griffith lives in The Mansards or other apartments east of Cline. The other neighborhoods in Griffith are mostly White and the difference is also very noticeable at the elementary school level. This also factored into why many residents were upset when Ready Elementary School closed because that’s where “Mansards kids” went.

One other thing to mention is that with the internet and greater access to information, more people in general just know more about other areas than ever before. It was much easier for housing discrimination to take place before the internet and while it still definitely and unfortunately happens now, it is not as easy to get away with. A lot of people who are Black and moving to suburban areas of NWI also are not from NWI especially when looking at places in western Lake County suburbs.

One thing about humans in general is that no matter how diverse we are in many ways, we are also very predictable creatures and in NWI, migratory patterns are pretty easy to predict.
Portage is very interesting to me because it has diversified much faster/more rapidly now than Hobart has. Portage used to be just like Hobart in that both cities were hometown pride blue collar middle class white communities. Portage has changed significantly and become poorer whereas Hobart hasn't changed too much. Portage has areas that are older that resemble Lake Station instead resembling of Hobart anymore. Portage also boomed a good amount in the early-mid 2000s, but the vast majority of new homes were under $250k, and now that there's less demand to live in Portage, those homes remain very affordable to middle to lower middle class people who are moving in from Lake County, Illinois, or elsewhere.
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