Historic Garden Homes Neighborhood celebrates 100 years

July 22, 2021

Photo by Yvonne Kemp

On Saturday, July 17, 2021, the historic Garden Homes Neighborhood celebrated their 100th anniversary at 2600 West Atkinson Ave. To celebrate, Garden Homes Neighborhood Association along with the 30th Street Industrial Corridor Corp, the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Impact Seven and Cinnaire, joined forces to renovate 11 historic homes in the area. Garden Homes neighborhood was envisioned in 1910 by Mayor Emil Seidel, and built in 1921 by Mayor Daniel Hoan. It is America’s first municipally sponsored public housing cooperative. Garden Homes was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, and the Wisconsin Historic register in 2013. Though it was built as a whites-only collaborative, Garden Homes eventually became a diverse neighborhood, populated by people who built a strong community there.

“The neighborhood is truly a special place, where neighbors look out for one another and are prideful of their homes and gardens,” Alderman Ashanti Hamilton said. Present for the celebration and groundbreaking were 30th Street Corridor Executive Director Cheryl Blue; Pastor United President Pastor Greg Lewis, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Garden Homes Collaborative Co-chair Chawnette Hicks; Garden Homes Collaborative Co-chair Chuqee Flether; Garden Homes Neighborhood Association Aaron McClendon; Garden Homes Facilitator Christopher Boston; Alderman Ashanti Hamilton; WHEDA CEO Joaquin Altoro; Impact Seven Vice-President Real Estate Development Michael Carlson; Cinnaire President Christopher Laurent; and Garden Homes residents Joe Bova, Vicki Boston, Bernice Love, and Martha Freeman.