Friday, May 16, 2008

Shades of Montford

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I've seen the original plan for the subdivision of Montford. That plan put Montford between the river on the west and what is now Broadway on the east, extending north from what is now I-240 to a point where River Road and Broadway meet -- essentially the shaded area above.

What is interesting is that "historic" Montford, what is designated as historic and gets special tax breaks and works under special use and building restrictions, is not the historic (read: original) Montford but the part of Montford with the oldest and biggest houses.

This could be because these are the oldest, thus historic, houses. It could also be that these are where the property owners with the keenest interests in the designation lived. Whatever the reasons, the historic district managed to include the part of Montford with the densest white population and exclude the parts of Montford with the densest black population.

Was that an accident?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Montford sketch map

Like the Asheville map (below), I spent only about a minute on this, and if I'd had color I could have indicated degrees of familiarity, zones in which I spend more time than others, etc. I could also indicate routes -- where I walk the dog, the path to work, the path downtown. By clicking on the image one can see the sketch in greater detail. I'm thinking this is a great way to archive, study, interpret, and discuss the maps, such as this one, that people draw.

For instance, I notice that I have not placed my home at the center of the map. Could it be, I ask myself, that I do not think that my house lies at the center but on the periphery? A conversation around that question would be useful in trying to understand my understanding of Montford and my place in Montford.

Asheville sketch map

This image didn't take me long at all, perhaps less than a minute. If I added color I could include more information: shadings of green, for instance, for green space, yellow for welcome, red for no-go.

Saturday, May 10, 2008