Saturday, May 18, 2013

Remembering Linda Pollin

I grew up in the Linda Pollin Memorial Housing Projects.  First of all, I did not know that it was built in memory of Abe Pollin's daughter.  In fact, I didn't even know the name, Abe Pollin.  I was a child, so I thought it was just a name given to the apartments.  At the time, my siblings and I had no idea that we lived in a housing project.  Well, the complex had a swimming pool, and the grounds were well kept. Also, it didn't resemble the well known surrounding projects like Valley Green, Condon Terrace, or Wahler Place. The manager was Ms. Royster who was sort of a no-nonsense type of landlord based on the conversations I heard from grownups.  However, she seemed nice; plus, we all played with and knew her son, John.

Well, although Mr. Pollin passed away back in 2009, I would still like to thank him for building the "LP" as we used to call it.  When I became old enough to learn that it was built by Mr. Pollin to honor his daughter, I sometimes felt bad.  I felt bad because of what Linda Pollin Projects became in the early 80s and throughout the 1990s.  It was part of Washington's pandemic of crime, murder, and drugs.  It also became quite a quandary for the Washington, D.C. police department in trying to apprehend suspects.  There were so many buildings, rooftops, and back hallways that suspects always had a chance to get away.  The LP Memorial Housing Project became a cesspool of debauchery and criminal activities; it was also a favorite subject on the 5 O'clock News.

Nevertheless, it was home and I do have some fond memories of the place.  I think that Mr. Pollin's initial gesture was well received, but nothing last forever.  Eventually, the symptoms of poverty and substance abuse would surface and thwart those divine intentions. Well, thanks again Mr. Pollin and please understand that LP was at one time a good place to live, and although it has been torn down and erased from sight, it will never be erased from the memory of so many families who grew up in old LP.  Peace~

Note:  Find out more about Linda Pollin Projects and Abe Pollin by watching the above YouTube video.

Article on subject:  Pollin's generosity...
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