56 Houses Left, a Blog about a Neighborhood Destruction

Talkin' about depressing places to live, Neatorama reader Michael submitted his wife Desy's blog, 56 Houses Left, about what remains of Carrollton subdivision in Bridgeton, Missouri. The place where she and thousands of other people grew up.

The subdivision was bought out by Lambert Airport for a runway expansion. Nearly 1,900 homes were bought out and since then crushed by bulldozers and trucked away. As of October 9, 2007, only 56 houses remained:

This is where I grew up… and over the past decade, a little bit is erased away each day. It used to not have much significance in my life. After all, I knew this would come… ‘they’ have been talking about it ever since the early 90s. Even then, even when they took my friends’ houses, or the house where my cousins
lived, or my teacher’s house… I was still too young to grasp it… too young to sit up and pay attention…. to care. It wasn’t until I saw the wrecking crew blow through my old bedroom on October 24th, 2006 when finally it all came slamming into my face- this place, this land was all I ever really known. My house, my friends’ and my families’ homes, my sidewalks, pools, parks, churches, schools, businesses… everything… gone. Soon, I will never be able to come back to this place again. If I have kids, I will never be able to show them where I came from. They will never know the place where I once played… the place where I once dreamed of one day leaving… This place that now I come back to wonder what exactly happened… and why.
(Link to this Post)

Just a couple of week ago, Desy wrote something ironically poignant:

The article today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch puts Lambert International, and with it the fate of Carrollton, into startling perspective.

It is true, and now there is even more evidence- the destruction of our homes was, officially, for no reason. According to the article, the airport has been classified as simply a ‘mid-sized’ airport since 2003. In 2003, the new runway was barely started and many houses on the south still remained. Aside from hardship cases, my mom’s side of Carrollton was not approached for buy-out in 2003. She was not approached until 2006. Nearly all of my friend’s houses were still standing in 2003. All of the destruction could have been stopped when the officials realized that Lambert will NEVER fill the numbers of flights they had in the 1990s. Even those flights were executed without the shiny new runway that now sits uselessly in Bridgeton.

Its a brutal shock to me that they could take everything away, without doing their homework, without doing the research or checking their facts, but take it all for landlust and false pretenses. All that had existed from my childhood has been bulldozed down to dirt and busted roads, all for absolutely nothing. (Link to this Post)

Link - Thanks Michael! (Photo: radio_inactive [Flickr])

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I moved to carrollton subdivison when it was first built and have all my youthful memories of that place.It was a wonderful place to grow up and the airplanes flying over never bothered us.It certainly was no crappy place to live as Brett,one of your commenters had to say.People are allowed to feel their pain for their homes needlessly being taken.My parents lived there for 41years and in their 80s being up rooted, there health failed.Sure they got a sweet deal maybe a better home but at their age home will never be home.Also comments like cry me a river from river rat. your name speaks volumes.
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I know Carrollton and Carrollton Oaks well - my aunts, uncles and cousins lived there since the 60s when the houses were new. I spent many a week visiting. Kissed my first girl there. Thousands of kids grew up there, and unless you don't have a heart, it is poignant seeing not only your childhood home, but schools, churches and the entire landscape removed. I applaud 56 Houses Left for documenting what little is left of what was a historically significant community.
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This shit has been going on forever in St. Louis. It seems like a couple of decades. I understand the former residents sadness and am still quite pissed at the eminent domain issues that were raised but move on, people. This whole subject is just tired, tired, tired.
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If that's the biggest/worst/most awful thing you have to worry about in your life then you aren't too bad off really are you :P I mean tell it to the millions around the world who don't have or never had a place to call home. Cry me a river honestly.
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