Walnut Park Revisited, Again

Walnut Park is one of those neighborhoods of the city where I am hesitant to post pictures where there is the chance of giving the wrong impression. The area struggles with crime, and has a tragically high murder rate. There is a lot of abandonment.

This church, built in 1930 for example, is ambiguous. I cannot tell whether it is abandoned or not. The lawn is well maintained, but there is no signs of life. I believe it was originally the Salvator United Church of Christ. It closed in 1979.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church sits further up Thekla Avenue.

Another public school comes into view; hopefully this one is not being left open to scrappers.

Some abandonment and resilience comes into view up at Riverview Boulevard.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Regina says:

    It’s a shame how the Walnut Park area has drastically changed since I was growing up in the early seventies. I clearly remember how vibrant and alive this area was. The grass was green. There was all kinds of fun/educational things to do. There were apple trees, peach trees, pear trees, etc…Life was good! Everything has changed…well almost everything. McNeal’s store is still on the corner of Lillian near Riverview. My high school “Northwest” still standing and had been closed for a while and finally reopened. But unfortunately, my grade school which was named after the area Walnut Park has been closed for a very long time. The fire department is looking pretty good. It actually looks better than what I remembered which is a plus. We use to ride the 41 Lee to RiverRoads and downtown. I remember they use to jump on people who rode the Lee bus if they looked unfamiliar and I knew then that things were starting to go down hill. It’s really heartbreaking to see my childhood neighborhood in the condition that it’s in. I pray that it gets better.

  2. David says:

    I think the demise of Walnut Park was connected to the implosion of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex. I was a mailman serving Walnut Park back in the early 70s. It became apparent to me from all the volumes of mail forwarded from addresses in Pruitt Igoe to new addresses in Walnut Park that folks were being guided in that direction. It was a shame but those people had to go somewhere when their homes were demolished. I always sensed that the sheer number of people directed to Walnut Park meant that some politician made the lazy decision to target the neighborhood for the greater good.

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