IUPUI -- a hard look at re-location

Dateline: Fri 19 Feb 2010

It is refreshiung to see Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis tackle head-on the issue of how the campus was planted and evolved. The person spearheading the hard look is Professor Paul Mullin, who, according to Dan McFeely's Page 1 article in the Indianapolis Star this morning, has been studying the history for more than a decade.

What happened, in a nutshell, is that middle-income and poor black Hoosiers were pushed out of an established neighborhood on the Near Westside so IUPUI could put down its roots there.

This story, while not exactly a secret, nonetheless is doubltless not well known to thousands of residents who did not live in Indy at the time, or simply were unaware of what a mass exodus the campus engineered.

I knew a bit of the history thanks to Indianapolis architect Robert Kennedy, who once showed me a photo of a ramshackle house that was torn down by the fledgling university, or some other entity involved in rehabbing the area; it was an unusual structure, explained Kennedy, because it was the only house he had ever seen that had a three-story outhouse attached to the back. This was also back in the day when Indy town fathers used to shoot starlings and other pesky birds on Monument Circle on Sunday. Why the hell not? Nobody lived down there...

But according to former residents, the near Westside area was also a true neighborhood, with a sense of place and community. Some, now in their 80s, remain angry over the displacement.

Mullin does good work by providing a forum for speaking out, and McFeely's coverage is appreciated.




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

This was a fantastic story long overlooked and long overdue.

Ditto the relocation of hundreds for that curly-que nonsense known as The Spaghetti Bowl. Lugar and his cronies knew exactly what they were doing. It broke up solidly Democratic neighborhoods forever.

Superb IUPUI story. Some disgusting comments on their blogpage, including one from a purported former IUPUI professor. Kinda typical, really.

2010-02-19 08:34:14

VladTheImpaler [unverified] said:

So should IUPUI, the city, pay reparations?

I say let's take more urban land -- properly compensating people -- of course. Like how about ripping out the urban decay that stands in the way of finishing where Bindford Blvd ends and continuing I-69 to the north split, downtown. The connection was cancelled in 1969 out of fear of hurting neighborhoods. Well, hell, those neighborhoods are rotting crap. The more important people in Hamilton County need an easier way to commute downtown. We could eliminate so much carbon with a more direct route than I-465 or the constant red lights on Binford/Fall Creek. We need to be ruthless like Chinese city planners. Their cities are vastly superior to ours in dead-and-dying America. Social Justice? BAH!

2010-02-19 11:53:37

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I assume, Vlad, you've never been to China. Superior? Hardly. Electricity is rationed--lucky folks get 8-10 hours a day. Over half the cities have small or non-performing sewage treatment plants. Most of the manufacturing capacity is placed upwind form major urban centers, because, well, that's where the workers are. And they belch crap into the air unchecked. Over 40% of urban Chinese have severe respiratory problems as a result. Severe.

Yep. Superior.

2010-02-19 14:07:44

VladTheImpaler [unverified] said:

Vlad has been to several large Chinese cities, including Beijing and Guangzhou, TTT. They are sparkling jewels and make NYC look like Evansville. I suggest you learn Mandarin and prepare for the assimilation.

2010-02-19 14:34:46

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I've been to several, too, recently. If you think they're sparking, I need what you're drinking. You couldn't be more wrong if you tried.

A friend teaches in Beijing. He lives 20 minutes outside the city, and has elecrticity about half the time. But just like the North Korena border cities, the downtown commercial building lights are always on.

If you don't believe me, google night satellite photos. Startling.

Mandarin is a delightful language to hear...poetic. Evansville ain't half bad, by the way. Been there lately?

2010-02-19 14:47:36

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

**Sparkling not sparking lol

2010-02-19 14:48:45

VladTheImpaler [unverified] said:

Yes, TTT, I've been to Evansville recently. And I lived there, too.

I'll take China's crappy areas for bugly America.

2010-02-19 18:28:31

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Don't let the door hit ya.

2010-02-20 05:33:20

hendy [Member] said:

Now *there's* inclusiveness and Hoosier Hospitality.

2010-02-20 22:23:16

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Yeah, Hendy, you're probably right, but Vlad's lies just got old. China is far from a superior environment...anhone who's been there, or N. Lorea, knows they put on a happy face for foreigners, but modern conveniences have only hit about a fifth of the population.

I hadn't had my coffee yet.

2010-02-21 06:01:47

hendy [Member] said:

You'd be surprised. In the past 30 years, I've put about 3M miles between United and Northwest. In fact I'm stroking my beard, wondering about the Lufthansa strike that's going to kill my flight to Germany on Thursday. Still no news about what's going to happen between my travel agent, United, and Lufthansa. So it goes.

The point to make is that I've traveled quite a bit and have seen hovels right here in Bloomington, not to mention just a few miles away from where my house is still for sale in Indy, and the ghetto where I was born in Gary.

And there is poverty in many places and a need for social justice nearly everywhere. Yeah, there are places in India where the electricity is on during odd hours only. Sewers are needed, and so on. Malaria. HIV. Etc.

About 99.5% of us in the US came from places that were tough, to make a better life. Mine came mostly from the British Isles, born of religious persecution. Today, in the US, we have a lot of religious persecution domestically-- and I'll admit that in other nations it can be much worse. Orthodoxy is a horrible downside to 'faith'. Zealotry is also part of the human animal.

But there is no US dominance or hallowed-holder of any kind of religious grail, no moral gravity here. I root for the home team because as an animal, I'm tribal in nature. You do, too. Inclusiveness is a wonderful thing.

Today, in S Korea, life is pretty nice. A few miles north, and it really sucks. But the N Koreans are herd animals just like you and I are, and they seem to follow the suppression because they have no choice. Others, like you and I, do have a choice. For now, I'm staying here and participating. You do as you like. Old Vlad can, too. I'm here for those willing to roll up their sleeves. Some people, like my brother, will never be able to support themselves. I'm lucky he shaves on a daily basis. He gets FSSA, and with luck, SSA/SSI to help him. He doesn't work.

And so it's a world that you make of it. Please be careful who you exclude.

2010-02-21 18:49:34

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