Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Stapleton Public Housing Project

The October 8, 1952 issue of the Denver Post enthusiastically reported, $3 Million Housing Project Announced for Globeville. The project was the fourth largest in Denver’s history and would be erected in February 1953 beside the new Valley super highway.” Three hundred brick homes ranging from one to five bedrooms were to be built between 51st and 52nd Avenues, from Logan to Acoma Streets, and would be rented at low cost to eligible families. Each family would have a lot of approximately 1,700 square feet. The article continued, “Four old houses at East Fifty-first avenue and Logan street are the only structures that will have to be razed. If the Denver Post seemed excited about the venture, long-time citizens of Globeville were not. The heavy-handed construction of the new Valley super highway” had displaced residents on the western edge of the neighborhood without adequate compensation, and now the city was again making plans for Globeville without considering the wishes of the community.
The immigrant families who settled Globeville initially fabricated dwellings of tar paper, and then graduated to shotgun homes of about 500 square feet. These old timers viewed those who relied on public assistance as lacking in moral fiber and lazy. Worse yet, the city was bringing in “outsiders” - Mexicans and Blacks - who would be handed homes built of brick, with one to five bedrooms, and up to 1,700 square feet of living space.
But Blacks and Hispanics had fewer options for housing than Globeville's residents. Banks seldom granted loans to minorities, many landlords wouldn't rent to them and large areas of the city were off limits to them. For the Molock family, the projects promised stability and a better education for the children. Jacquelyn Molock remembers, “We were living on Grove Street and they were raising the rent again. My dad was working for Dr. Pepper and my mom was doing day work. She wanted to get some training to get a better job. We walked over to the projects to be interviewed to get in. My mother was worried because we were not on welfare, but we got in.
Both Jacquelyn and sister Roberta remember the good times. “We all walked to Garden Place School, under I-70, and we got along with all the German, Slovak and Polish kids. There were lots of children and places to play. In the projects, there was a common area with the homes all around it and we felt really safe there. We used to play and everyone would look out for us. 
We lived in the projects for about ten years and then we got a house at 5063 Logan Street. We did our grocery shopping at Westerkamps. The house belonged to them and they sold it to my mom.”
Jacquelyn west to East High, CU Boulder, joined the Air Force and traveled, while Roberta had a successful career with Wayside Upholstery in Boulder. Both have fond memories of the growing up in the projects and now call Globeville home. Roberta smiles, “You know how they say 'It takes a village?' We had that in Globeville.

Sisters Roberta and Jacquelyn Molock, 2016
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Globeville-Elyria-Swansea Memory Project

I could be in any church for any occasion, but a whiff of bees wax candles, or the spicy scent of incense calls up memories of Holy Rosary Church during Holy Week. My recollections are of the days before Vatican II, of Latin hymns, Tantum Ergo and Panis Angelicus. It is the Globeville neighborhood of that era that is etched in my memory: still intact, neat as a model train layout with small homes, tidy yards, barns and sheds, steeples and smokestacks.
What triggers a memory of the neighborhood for you? The sound of a trail whistle? The smell of the stockyards? A snapshot of the family home? History Colorado wants to hear reminiscences of both long-time and new residents of the Globeville-Elyria-Swansea Neighborhoods.
History Colorado uses site-based remembering techniques to jump-start writing and storytelling that reanimates the community history of a place. Neighbors write stories of resilience and community connection that forge stronger identities.
Wednesdays, September 26, October 3 and October 10
6:30 - 8:30 pm, Swansea Recreation Center
2650 East 49th Avenue
Denver, CO 80216
Call 303-866-4584 to schedule a time
What to Bring:
Pen, paper, an object of importance from your neighborhood/community,
lots of memories, family and friends!
A culminating Community Exhibit will take place on November 15th from 6–8 pm.

History Colorado presenta el
Proyecto Recuerdos de los Barrios: Globeville-Elyria-Swansea
El Proyecto Recuerdos de los Barrios es un programa de narración de historias que se centra en los residentes antiguos y actuales de barrios específicos. Empleamos técnicas de reminiscencia basadas en el sitio con el fin de estimular escritos y narraciones que reanimen la historia de la comunidad. Los vecinos escriben historias de resiliencia y conexión comunitaria que sirven para reforzar su identidad.
Qué traer:
Bolígrafo, papel, un objeto de importancia de su barrio/comunidad,
muchos recuerdos,  ¡Familia y Amigos!
Finalizaremos con una Exposición de la Comunidad el 15 de Noviembre de 6–8 pm.
Miercoles 6:30–8:30 pm
Swansea Recreation Center   •     2650 E. 49th Ave,    •     Denver, CO 80216
September 26, October 3 y October 10

Holy Rosary Church ® Mary Lou Egan

Intact 4500 block of Sherman Street before I-70
® Mary Lou Egan