Skip to content

Category: The Far Side of 95

Gilpin Court lies on the far side of Jackson Ward, isolated since the 1950s by an interstate highway, I-95, that divided this once-thriving African-American community known as the Harlem of the South. Today, Gilpin Court is loosely associated with Jackson Ward, but is mostly known for a sprawling complex of government housing projects that are home to thousands of mostly low-income residents. The area is littered with abandoned homes, churches and empty lots. Still, there is culture and life in even the most forgotten places.

Urban Wastelands

The forced estrangement is evident even in the landscape. Flourishing Jackson Ward boasts manicured front lawns and pruned bushes. Flowering trees line the streets, bursts of color are on display in porch-side pots. As I walk down the sidewalks, I imagine self-satisfied residents swapping gardening tips with their neighbours. On the other side of the highway, Gilpin Court resident Lee Basin is quick to reassure me of his neighborhood’s equivalent beauty.