Historic Cloverdale and Ardmore apartments under threat of demolition

Plans have been submitted that call for the demolition of the historic Ardmore Terrace and Cloverdale Apartment complexes leaving many people in the community up in arms. The apartments have provided homes to hundreds of immigrants, college students, the elderly, and families large and small for over 60 years since they began building them as postwar housing.

The plan is to turn the existing complex into newer multi-family housing that may demand a higher price. Councilman Dan Besse, who lives in the complex, is fighting against the demolition, saying that the 92 historic buildings are crucial in terms of affordable housing in Winston-Salem. This situation is especially hard on the elderly and those who have called the complexes home for years.

Not only is their community affected, but Reynolds has a numberof students who call Ardmore Terrace and Cloverdale Apartments home. Senior Rose Reese has lived there for two years with her mom.

“The community here is really friendly, I know basically all my neighbors,” Reese said. “People are willing to help out with anything you need. There are a lot of older people that live in the community and if they were forced to relocate, I think it would be really hard on them.” Reese concluded.

The community has certainly banded together in this tough time after Besse called a meeting on August 24 to discuss the event with the community. The question that stands now is: Can it be stopped and if not, what next?

Community members like Besse and Reese have certainly showed the importance of the community, but ultimately it seems the fate of the community is in the hands of the owners.

For the time being, the community is safe from demolitions and no final decisions have been made. Initial construction will not occur for a few years and they are simply in the planning stages at this point. If the plan meets all of its requirements, the city will have no option other than to approve the project.

The developers have stated they will share plans with the community and look to receive feedback and suggestions. Currently, most residents feel the structures should stand as they are and continue to provide reasonably priced housing as well as a community for them to thrive in.

“The destruction of the historic buildings means that Winston will not only lose value and beauty in the area, but surrounding businesses and organizations, like Temple Emmanuel and Ardmore Baptist would be affected,” Reese said. “The historic district of Ardmore has been around since the 40’s and there is no reason to completely tear down these buildings and build new ones. The area is unique and has a community that would be negatively impacted and uprooted.”

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Photo by Sarah Templeton/Pine Whispers

One thought on “Historic Cloverdale and Ardmore apartments under threat of demolition

  1. Mr. Higgins has certainly captured the conflict that in many ways is eternal, where younger ideas of what is better housing within an established neighborhood, is often linked to current styles and the amenities that exist within the community. Many folks grow into their communities, disregarding modern conveniences, in order to live a life that they have sought, across from neighbors they have come to depend on.
    For example, in my small town they have decided to restrict the Wi-Fi floating through town near older residential homes and prime restaurants areas, as the older folks are content with the civility and reduction of noise that Free Wi-Fi creates in an open population, with students hogging seats while spending the day keeping up with the Kardasians. They have voted to reduce mail delivery, so that the citizens have a centered meeting spot at the Post Office, as they get their mail from rented boxes. Much of the communities’ business and social intercourse occur at the Post Office.
    It is a problem only if the owners/developers are attempting create a profit from simply restructuring the community to make money. As for the thought of newer, better, or more modern Middle-class housing comes up, the elected municipal Board members should have laid out the strictures that would govern the process and acceptance, of any intervention that “others/outsiders” may attempt.
    If you walk through the area and you see children playing, neighbors sitting in “common areas” quietly talking, and a varied group of tenants, coming and going without generational or class conflict, you can see that the vitality of a community has the ability to provide an excellent quality of life with the economic profitability that investors want.
    If Mr. Higgins continues to write on these types of situations, I would recommend “The Life and Death of Great American Cites” by Jane Jacobs (1961) as the seminal work on the creation and destruction of neighborhoods and their effect on Towns and cities as a whole. Good neighborhoods are the heart and lungs of any great city.

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