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New housing development named for civil rights pioneer

(KWMU Photo)
Civil rights attorney Frankie Freeman speaks near the new housing development that bears her name.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Frankie Freeman Ville Estates in St. Louis' Ville neighborhood consists of 12 low income single family homes.

Freeman is the attorney who won a landmark 1954 case that desegregated public housing in St. Louis. She later became the first woman to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

She says the project reflects the ideals she worked to achieve for years.

"This gathering today and this whole process just reflects my commitment, my love for St. Louis," Freeman said.

Once one of St. Louis' most prestigious neighborhoods, much of the Ville has fallen into disrepair.

Northside Community Housing Inc. president Ernecia Coles says her group hopes to turn the area around.

"Although today most of what made the area shine years ago is absent, it is our hope that what made the Ville so special in the early 1900's isn't history, but something that can be revived once again in the early 21st century," Coles said.

The development was financed through state and federal low-income housing tax credits and an investment from the St. Louis Equity Fund.


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