Leclaire Courts: The history of a community in public housing
by Joann Williams
Documentary idea: Leclaire Courts was a public housing development which was completely torn down over the past 5 months. Half of this development was built in 1950 the other half in 1954.
I have over twelve hours of camcorder video tape and digital camera video/pictures to document the demolition.
I would like to make a documentary highlighting the life of Leclaire with pictures of the many families who lived there possibly with comments by the old and young generations on what Leclaire meant them. Family photos, music of the times and possibly 8 mm family films.
In the early years residents were hardworking Blue and White Collar Workers who had to live there prior to Federal Fair Housing Laws barring Housing Discrimination. Yes, the later years of Leclaire seemed to have faded with the onset of drugs and shooting. But those of us who lived there in the 50's through the late 80's saw it as a real community with southern values, family and community building.
Leclaire, like most CHA public housing developments are in the process of being torn down, renovated or being rebuilt. I think old and new residents moving into the NEW Leclaire in about two years should understand its rich family/community history. There were 30+ GOOD years in Leclaire and I'd like to document this in film.
I had hoped to get students from a film arts program to help me with this and to video interviews with some of the Senior Citizens who lived in Leclaire. We have an annual Leclaire/Hearst Family and Community Picnic, July 9, 2011, many old timers as well as 4th generations (young 22+) come out to this event.