Building demolished at Lucy Morgan Homes as construction continues

Published 6:52 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Lucy Morgan homes were already visibly brighter in past weeks thanks to new, colorful paint as part of the LaGrange Housing Authority’s renovations on the buildings, and the development saw another major change to the scenery on Monday, when one of its buildings was leveled to make room for a community greenspace.

The 500 building of Lucy Morgan was demolished. The building was one of the older sections of community housing at 66 years old. All of the residents who lived in the now demolished building have been re-homed, and the space it once occupied will now serve as a central part of the community. 

“It was one of the first buildings when public housing was established in the City of LaGrange,” said Debra Black, director of finance for LHA. “With our Lucy Morgan Phase 1 renovations, this is a part of providing our residents with better housing, providing more amenities, and it is also part of our healthy living. We partner with the Kresge Foundation to provide more healthy living, so putting a greenspace there, that was a part of it.”

In addition to access to the second segment of The Thread, Lucy Morgan residents also have access to a community garden, which those over the housing authority hope will make residents feel like healthy living is within reach. The healthy living initiatives pair with major changes to the homes’ aesthetics and features.

“They are excited about something new coming because like I said there have not been any renovations of public housing,” Black said. “They are excited about the change and the new look and better units.”

Those improved units are designed to look like any other neighborhood, so that the buildings are not immediately recognizable as community housing to anyone driving through the area.

“It is new. It is innovative. It is not the norm,” Black said. “The whole thing is we are trying to deconcentrate poverty, and when you drive through, you won’t be able to tell what it is. It is just going to look like any other neighborhood.”

The greenspace created by the 500 building is part of those efforts to deconcentrate poverty by making the housing less dense. 

Black said that as LHA works to complete phase one at Lucy Morgan and begins work on Whitesville Road, the community can expect to see major changes on the horizon.

“Transforming that entire community, that is our goal,” Black said.