In 1919, Julius Rosenwald “devote[d] funding to offset the Black belt housing crisis,” resulting in the building of the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments (nicknamed “the Rosenwald”). Over its history, the apartment buildings were home to Nat “King” Cole, Gwendolyn Brooks, and other African-American legends. The building was closed in 2000 due to a leaky gas pipe, and many believed the apartments would close forever due to its deteriorating physical condition.
Nineteen years later, the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments have a new name, the Rosenwald Court Apartments, and are once again a lively part of the community.
The complex has undergone a $132 million restoration and is allowing new businesses to enter the community, such as Sip and Savor Coffee House. To read more, click here.
Stephanie Deutsch is the author of “You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.”
“Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL hedge fund staved off, at least temporarily, the company’s liquidation with a $5.2 billion bid at a bankruptcy auction last week in New York. Creditors of the former department store colossus are challenging the sale in court. The fate of the company’s 425 stores, and with it the jobs of 45,000 employees, is likely to be determined in early February.
Sears’s bankruptcy declaration in October prompted a wave of media coverage focusing on Sears’s mid-20th-century glory days and its roots in a mail-order watch business operated by Richard W. Sears with the help of watch repairer Alvah C. Roebuck. Often overlooked in those nostalgic chronicles was the man who bore much of the responsibility for building the company into a paragon of U.S. retailing. With Sears’s future hanging in the balance, this seems like a good moment to give Julius Rosenwald his due, not least because of how he put his Sears fortune to philanthropic use: partnering with African American communities across the segregated South to build schools.”
To read the full article, visit: wapo.st/2sHShvq