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Topic: Neighborhood Names: Floral Park and Elm Park

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Civic Park

I'm doing some research on Flint neighborhoods and wondering if anyone can help me out.

Floral Park is often used to refer to a very large section of land southeast of downtown, including the area taken by the highway interchange. But the black residents I've spoken to of various ages refer to Floral Park as a a relatively small area bounded by Lapeer Road on the north; Howard on the east; Floral Park on the south; and Fern Ave. on the west. (Give or take a few blocks depending on who you talk to.) This corresponds with the original 1909 plat of Floral Park. This area is also referred to as "the bottoms" or "the hollow" by some former residents.

Elm Park was an area roughly due south on the other side of the railroad tracks and shaped like an "L" with the railroad tracks on the north; Howard and Marbury on the east; the jagged outlines of Thread Lake on the south; and Warner on the west. This was considered a nicer area than Floral Park, which had some of the worst housing in the city. This is the original boundaries on the original plat.

Obviously, neighborhood boundaries determined by the residents can vary and usually don't correspond to the rigid plat boundaries. The official Civic Park, for example, is very different from the broader area residents would call Civic Park over the years.

But I had a hard time finding any black residents who lived in the area at various times who would describe the area taken by the highway interchange as "Floral Park." And residents who lived in Elm Park might even take offense if you said they lived in Floral Park. They certainly differentiated between the two areas.

So I have a couple questions that I'd love to hear feedback on...

1. Was there a specific name for the black neighborhood that was taken by the 475-69 interchange, because I don't think it was called Floral Park? (Maybe white planners/politicians in Flint called it that but black residents didn't?)

2. Can anyone correct my findings on the neighborhood names? Maybe I just talked to the wrong people.

Post Tue May 22, 2012 2:28 pm 
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