07/31/14 3:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A BRIEF ANNOTATED HISTORY OF ALLEN PARKWAY VILLAGE’S DIRTY NEIGHBOR Drawing of Allen Parkway Village Apartment, Fourth Ward, Houston“Wow, I never knew there was a waste incinerator right in the Fourth Ward. Here’s a handy timeline: Post-Civil War: Freed slaves construct their own neighborhood in the Fourth Ward. 1917: Camp Logan Race Riots are sparked off when a Houston policeman beats a black soldier in the Fourth Ward. 1920s: Gillette incinerator is built (PDF) right in the Fourth Ward. 1944: San Felipe Courts (today’s Allen Parkway Village) were built next to the incinerator. They were originally intended as public housing for the city (following a New Deal movement for public housing in the 1930s) but ended up being handed over to the defense department to exclusively house white WW2 veterans (PDF). The other motivation was to ‘clean up the slums’ along Allen Parkway for passing commuters. 1964: San Felipe Courts are desegregated following the Civil Rights Act and renamed to Allen Parkway Village. 1970s-90s: Developers advocated for APV’s demolition arguing that the public housing’s costs didn’t reflect the land’s ‘highest and best use.’ Meanwhile, the housing deteriorated due to neglect by the Houston Housing Authority and HUD. Residents organized and protested demolition leading to APV’s rebuilding in 1997. Today: The city can now cash in by selling a plot of polluted land next to APV now that the Fourth Ward is gentrifying.” [Carpetbagger, commenting on The Best the City Can Get for Gillette; Not Jus Donuts’ Extreme Cakeover] Illustration: Lulu

07/03/14 12:30pm

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The rooftop terrace of this 2008 City View Courtyard townhome ought to be a decent spot for watching tomorrow’s Freedom Over Texas fireworks show. The Fourth Ward location between W. Dallas St. and the back of Allen Parkway Village falls in Freedmen’s Town — though not the portion designated and nationally registered as Freedmen’s Town Historic District. The townhome property’s name is only semi-apt; while “city view” (top) is a sure thing, the “courtyard” reference is less clear. Perhaps it refers to the narrow strip of fenced pens between the 2 back-to-back 3-packs? Even without the seasonal pyrotechnics of Houston’s Official July 4th Celebration to view, the end-cap’s perspective peeks at office peaks, . . .

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Skyrockets at Night