Warren-Forest Bulldozed?


Fifth Estate # 77, April 17-30, 1969

The bulldozers are coming again to the Warren Forest area.

To complete Wayne University’s plans to obliterate the hip and poor community surrounding the school the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved almost $8,000,000 to wreck the area bounded by Warren, Trumbull, Forest and the John Lodge Freeway.

This includes the current location of the Fifth Estate office.

President William R. Keast of WSU talks glowingly about being a “partner with city officials and community groups in the development of a vigorous community life in the 25 acre urban renewal area.”

Phase II of this people removal plan is to set up private and University dwellings which will supposedly provide housing for students and neighborhood residents.

“Wayne State wants to meet the critical need for housing for its students and also make a contribution to the lives of its neighbors in the development of this land,” said Keast.

Nice sentiment, but who asked the people of this area if that’s what they wanted to happen to their community? All urban renewal has ever done is to further ghettoize blacks, make all low-income housing more expensive, and destroy existing stable communities. There is nothing to indicate anything to the contrary will occur in this case.

There is ample land for all of Keast’s good intentions east of the Lodge freeway where their wreckers last knocked down part of our community. This land has been vacant for five years.

Wayne’s plans to build all sorts of new housing sound admirable on paper, but the real questions remain unanswered.

Why does Wayne University have any sort of say about what should happen to the Warren Forest community?

Why weren’t the people who live there consulted?

What makes Keast think students or anyone would like to live in the sterile, ugly, overpriced, policed dorms such as the Helen Newberry Joy residence?

As usual WSU does as it pleases.

Only the people can stop this undemocratic plan to destroy our community. Whether they will or not is a different story.