HKNA 30th Year Anniversary! As you walk through our amazing neighborhood and look at all the restored bungalows, decorated for the holidays with beautifully landscaped lawns, corners featuring unique street signs adorned with art created by our own Artist Enclave residents – imagine a time when all was not so. While Kenwood never fell to a level of disrepair or lack of investment that made it impossible to bounce back, it was not in the condition it is today. Nearly all the homes were painted white, 40 or more had been boarded up to prevent further vandalism, hundreds of porches had been enclosed, a substantial number had code violations or deferred maintenance issues, and close to 70 percent of the homes were rented out.
Luckily for all of us, a scrappy bunch of neighbors, both new and longtime residents, felt this little place had potential. They got together and convinced the city to implement a program called Operation Commitment. Staff from several city departments came in and identified problems that could quickly be fixed. The Neighborhood Partnership Office worked with residents and began the process of solving these problems.
An association was formed. A president and board were elected and the hard work began. In those days Kenwood events included participating in Drug Marches. Residents escorted by police marched and chanted in the streets to let the drug dealers in the neighborhood know they were being watched and were not welcome anymore. Dumpsters were placed to collect large amounts of trash picked up by volunteers. It wasn’t all hard work; after the clean ups and projects there was always a way to get together and socialize with old and new friends.
So to celebrate all the people and all the hard work and successes of this neighborhood, we are launching a year-long series of events to celebrate 30 years of “how art and architecture transformed a neighborhood.” All our regular events will highlight the history and hard work that everyone has put into making this the best neighborhood anywhere. We will also have several new and fun events to celebrate our great neighborhood. So watch this newsletter, and all our digital outlets to get updates on all the fun events we will be providing!