Henrietta Street and Environs, Compton Hill

I am still trying to understand the so-called Gate District, which I still stridently refer to as Compton Hill, its historic name. I wrote an article about it back in 2020, but one thing I can’t do is go back in time and see the area before redevelopment began.

Was it as bad as claimed, or could it have been another Lafayette Square, which is just to the east? I’m never going to be able to answer that question unless someone can provide me with a time machine or a cache of photos of the houses and streets that were torn down to build the new houses that replaced so much.

I do know one thing: Lafayette Avenue has drastically changed over the last decade, as new in-fill and rehabbing has transformed what had been a sad stretch of street when I first started looking at it. The area is also filled with streets like the one below that are cut off by I-44, which surely cut down on a massive amount of through traffic on Lafayette.

I was intrigued by one block of Henrietta Avenue, which for some reason was not clear cut during the redevelopment.

It gives us a window, theoretically, into what was demolished around it. I seriously doubt the blocks around this block were all somehow just totally bombed out and unsalvageable.

This house below has a very large back house, which you can see through the block gate. I’ve always wondered about it.

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