How we wiped out Kosciusko, which could have been another Soulard

The widescale destruction of the African-American neighborhood of Mill Creek has garnered more attention the last couple decades, as it should. But a lesser known, majority-white neighborhood, Kosciusko, sandwiched between Seventh Street and the stretch of river south of the MacArthur Bridge, also saw itself annihilated by urban renewal in the 1960s. The same arguments city leaders used against African Americans in Mill Creek were turned against the poor white residents and their aging houses and apartment buildings in Kosciusko: surely they would live better and more upright and respectable lives if they moved into new Modernist public housing to the west? They would thus remove themselves from the vice-laden, soul-crushing rows of 19th-century houses crowding the riverfront. In the neighborhood’s place would rise a purely industrial and commercial district, ripe for investment.

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