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  • Writer's pictureEEVS Neighborhood Association

Residents mourn the loss of historic community, yet carry on and tell their story

Asheville’s East End neighborhood engulfs The Block on Eagle Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and once housed a thriving Black community before urban renewal ravaged the area, original East End resident from Mountain Street, Orma Buie said.

She said the neighborhood was complete with Black-owned businesses, schools, entertainment and shopping before urban renewal ravaged the area. All she has left of the once-flourishing, tight-knit neighborhood are memories.   

“I can ride through the East End, but it only makes me cry,” Buie said. “They just wiped out a whole era of my life that only exists in my mind.”

The East End Valley Street Vision Plan, created by the East End Neighborhood Association, states that the Model Cities Conservation/ Rehabilitation program dismantled the East End neighborhood during urban renewal in the ‘60s and ‘70s, tearing apart the area’s infrastructure and character. While some houses were physically altered and stabilized, Buie said gentrification efforts dramatically destabilized and displaced the family-like community and the neighborhood may never be the same. More here:

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