We drove through the Ville neighborhood last week, and I was disappointed to see that the neglect and deterioration has continued. Once the isolated “suburban” town of Elleardsville, the Ville became the center of the middle class in the African-American community. Unfortunately, due to segregation, the housing stock is old, much of it just after the Civil War, and it is not in good shape.
There does seem to be some hope, as the MHDC Site Review signs reveal that rehabilitation or in-fill construction may be coming if the developer wins a tax credit.
A bar and a church right next to each other.
I love how identical houses slowly change over the decades; look below: perhaps there was a rental apartment in the house on the right in the basement. Or like Chuck Berry, who also lived in the vicinity, maybe the owner lived downstairs and rented out the upstairs.
Many homes remain in good condition, thankfully.
But sadly, this burnout looks new from my last visit.
While much of the wood frame stock, the oldest housing the Ville is failing, some remain in good condition.
Last two photos courtesy of Jeff Phillips.