Event Title

Who Was Fred Eggers?: Studying Neighborhood Change Through Historical Reconstruction

Mentor 1

Arijit Sen

Location

Union 250

Start Date

29-4-2016 1:00 PM

Description

In this paper, I seek to address and revise the historical erasure of individual urban narratives. The gap between traditional historical documentation and individual stories urges me to reconstruct the social narratives of specific Milwaukeeans as a method of including the real lives of residents in the larger city history. The Martin Drive neighborhood in the city of Milwaukee emerged in the early 1900s. Since then it has gone through major changes in neighborhood demographics and physical construction. I utilize city directories, historical censuses, and local history to reconstruct the story of the Martin Drive neighborhood and its residents from 1920 to 1950. In particular, I examine the blocks of North 37th Street and West 37th Street, later North 37th Place, which lie between West Vliet Street and West McKinley Avenue. These few blocks constitute a sub-neighborhood known as Martin Drive East. Separated from the rest of the Martin Drive neighborhood by Highland Boulevard to the west, Martin Drive East resides in a space of “in-betweens.” Caught between the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, railroad tracks, and the main roads of Highland and Vliet, Martin Drive East experiences a physical marginalization through demarcation. Yet by analyzing the complex demographic and social shifts of this small neighborhood, the Martin Drive East neighborhood reveals larger trends for surrounding neighborhoods and the city of Milwaukee. Over time, increased professionalization and diversification occur within the families of these few streets. Going house-by-house and family-by-family, I chart the course of families as they grow, move, diminish, and intersect.

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Apr 29th, 1:00 PM

Who Was Fred Eggers?: Studying Neighborhood Change Through Historical Reconstruction

Union 250

In this paper, I seek to address and revise the historical erasure of individual urban narratives. The gap between traditional historical documentation and individual stories urges me to reconstruct the social narratives of specific Milwaukeeans as a method of including the real lives of residents in the larger city history. The Martin Drive neighborhood in the city of Milwaukee emerged in the early 1900s. Since then it has gone through major changes in neighborhood demographics and physical construction. I utilize city directories, historical censuses, and local history to reconstruct the story of the Martin Drive neighborhood and its residents from 1920 to 1950. In particular, I examine the blocks of North 37th Street and West 37th Street, later North 37th Place, which lie between West Vliet Street and West McKinley Avenue. These few blocks constitute a sub-neighborhood known as Martin Drive East. Separated from the rest of the Martin Drive neighborhood by Highland Boulevard to the west, Martin Drive East resides in a space of “in-betweens.” Caught between the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, railroad tracks, and the main roads of Highland and Vliet, Martin Drive East experiences a physical marginalization through demarcation. Yet by analyzing the complex demographic and social shifts of this small neighborhood, the Martin Drive East neighborhood reveals larger trends for surrounding neighborhoods and the city of Milwaukee. Over time, increased professionalization and diversification occur within the families of these few streets. Going house-by-house and family-by-family, I chart the course of families as they grow, move, diminish, and intersect.