It’s plain to see that piece by piece, home by home and business by business the Hillcrest area is being demolished..
I spoke with Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn and asked her if the Hillcrest area, or the African-American side of town is on the verge of extinction.
I believe it is. Unfortunately i believe it is," replied Vaughn.
And the people most affected by this. emotionally and physically are the citizens who have lived in the community for years. Darryln Wimbish could only sit and watch as the home she grew up in for 50 years was demolished. The backhoe still on the property. The only thing she has are the memories, some pictures with her and her family at the home.
"You cant stop progress. This is progress," said Wimbish. I replied, "but its progress that is tearing down your house." Wimbish answered, "yes sir, its tearing ti down." To which I replied, "and does that hurt?" "It hurts tremendously, I cant have heart attack and die behind it. If they are going to bulldoze it they are going to bull doze it anyway," said Wimbish.
One life time hillcrest resident Lamont Taylor says the neglect of the area has been coming for years.
"We are still a part of Corpus Christi but they have neglected us for 30-40 years. Systematically I say, systematically neglected us for 30-40 years. They have closed the schools in here, and second the Harbor Bridge has come and now everyone has been dispersed for the four winds all over Corpus Christi," said Taylor.
So the question is, what’s going to happen to Hillcrest?
That is the question Willie Hardeman, who is 76 years old and grew up in the projects on Winnbego is asking.
"Whats going to happen there? What type of buildings or what types of permits are going to be given for buildings in that area? its no longer an area where i guess families will be living so its going to look very different," said Hardeman.
How different is anyone’s guess right now. I spoke with Mayor Joe McComb
"There is still a lot of unknowns, but I think in the long run, I would think ultimately anything on the ship channel side of 37 would be commercial or industrial. I really wouldn’t be residential," said McComb.
So, what’s the time frame for this? well it’s anybody’s guess. There are a lot of residents, mostly elderly who don’t want to leave. they have no place to go.
"Why aren’t they ready to leave? Cause this is home. They don’t know nothing else. This is home, and they are going to die here. They’re going to die here, and many of them have died here. Fighting the fight trying to stay here," concluded Wimbish.