A Neighborhood Divided: Community Resistance to an AIDS Care Facility

By Jane Balin | Go to book overview

[2]

West Highland: From a Colonial Village
to an Urban Middle-Class Neighborhood

Divide Avenue is one of the oldest and longest streets in Park City. Running north to south, the avenue spans the entire length of the city, dividing its eastern neighborhoods from its western. Following the avenue from its southern origins up through its northern reaches, an approximately ten-mile drive, one cannot help but notice the tremendous social and historical changes Park City has undergone since its founding in 1682. On both sides of the southern stretches of the avenue, abandoned factories and decaying warehouses loom over poverty-stricken African American and Latino neighborhoods, all bearing witness to the passing of the industrial era in the city and the human wreckage that has followed in its wake. Moving northward along the avenue, one meets Park City's colonial past as tar-and-gravel pavement gives way to three-hundred-year-old cobblestones that once served horse- drawn carts taking farm products from colonial villages to the center of the city. The remnants of these two eras intersect in a neighborhood known as Green Village, a primarily working-class community currently facing encroaching poverty and urban blight.

As one continues north along the old cobblestone road, one comes to the neighborhoods of East and West Highland. Turning off the avenue to the left brings one into West Highland; turning to the right leads into East Highland. Though the avenue continues to be defined by boarded-up storefronts and abandoned homes, only one block away, in West Highland, the poverty- stricken world of Divide Avenue is quickly supplanted by a lush and middle- class atmosphere of well-kept and bountiful gardens, children's jungle gyms

-12-

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