This paper explores how different people view the idea of Home by tracing the history of Bluegrass-Aspendale, a public housing project in Lexington, Kentucky. From its opening in 1938 as one the first public housing projects in the country, to its destruction in 2006 by way of a HOPE VI grant, the site has undergone continuous evolution. Situated within the East End neighborhood, a largely African-American community, Bluegrass-Aspendale represents the challenge of urban renewal through the manipulation of housing opportunities. At times espoused as model housing and at others as a collector of crime and destitution, the 571 units demonstrate the complexity of creating an ideal domestic space with a highly stigmatized public housing program. By interviewing former tenants, from the first pioneer residents to those evicted at the project’s destruction, this paper compares the lived experience of home to the goals of housing policy. It looks at how racism, economic discrimination, and cultural prejudice eroded the project’s original village concept and social optimism. By tracing the evolution of the site through the narratives of former residents, it captures the history of an important part of Lexington’s marginalized culture.
"Voices of Home in Bluegrass-Aspendale: Constructing the Ideal,"
Vol. 6, Article 5.
Available at: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/kaleidoscope/vol6/iss1/5