In 1956 civic leaders launched a plan, using federal urban renewal funds, to remove “blight” and rebuild this mostly black neighborhood. Many buildings around you were proposed for demolition. Both black and white leaders disagreed among themselves whether the plan would improve the neighborhood or destroy the fabric of the black community. At least 500 residents would have been displaced, 400 of them black. In 1959 City Council narrowly passed the plan, but newly elected Mayor Cecil Creal vetoed it as too disruptive.
Other forces changed the neighborhood. City Council passed a fair housing law in 1963 and a stronger one in 1965. The neighborhood school, Jones Elementary (later Community High), was 75% black in 1965 when it was closed and its students dispersed by bus to other schools in an effort at desegregation. By the 1970s blacks were leaving the neighborhood. The churches moved. In that decade, black and white citizens working together defeated plans for a downtown bypass that would have split the neighborhood.