I met Leonard getting out of his pickup truck in front of a house that was under construction on Prospect Street in Trenton’s Stuyvesant/Prospect neighborhood.Most of the large homes along Prospect Street appear to have been built between 1890 and WWI.The street is wide and tree-lined.The Delaware and Raritan Canal recreation trail crosses Prospect Street at the end of the block.But the streetcar suburban prosperity that flourished in 1926 when Route One was established has given way to repurposing these handsome buildings for a new reality.White flight after WWII left Trenton neighborhoods economically desperate as the tax base evaporated. Racial disparity came to a head during the Trenton Riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of 1968. Economic dislocation increased as blue collar manufacturing jobs were outsourced at the end of the 20th Century.
But Leonard is an optimist!He is most of the way through renovating 39 Prospect Street into apartments for rent. Trenton needs more optimists like Leonard! According to the website of auction house of Max Spann, the City had a backlog of 90 properties for sale in 2021.With all of the well-built homes in Stuyvesant/Prospect, it is just a matter of time before it returns to a vibrance that rivals its past.
Peter Evans NJ Trenton Jun 21, 2022 City Planning People RE