News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News
KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

'A Family Reunion Every Day': Former Residents Remember Cavile Place, A Fort Worth Landmark

A red brick apartment building at Cavile Place stands behind a chain link fence. The windows are boarded up and trash and debris pile up on the front lawns.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA
Cavile Place, an iconic public housing development in southeast Fort Worth, is being torn down as part of a neighborhood revitalization effort.

Fort Worth is in the middle of demolishing a landmark: the Cavile Place public housing development.

Commonly known as the Stop Six projects, countless people called these apartments home from the 1950s all the way to June of last year.

The city is tearing down the projects to make way for new housing as part of an effort to revitalize Stop Six.

Cavile Place means a lot to many of the people that used to live there — so much so that the city's housing authority will preserve some of the old red bricks to give out as keepsakes, according to a spokesperson.

As part of a series about Cavile Place, three former residents shared, in their own words, their memories of living there.

Kendra Richardson

Richardson is a teacher and founder of Funky Town Fridge, a community food pantry and fridge project in Fort Worth.

I'm from the Stop Six projects. I grew up there, my entire family grew up there, and it is a huge part of who I am.

Kendra Richardson, a young Black woman wearing a black shirt and green cardigan, stands in front of a colorful mural with the words "Stop 6" painted on the wall.
Courtesy of Kendra Richardson
Kendra Richardson grew up in the Cavile Place public housing development in Fort Worth's Stop Six neighborhood. She remembers it as a tight-knit community where all her neighbors were like family.

Living there, I've learned how to build community. I've learned that neighbors are family. There's not a neighbor that we ever had that I didn't call auntie or uncle or cousin. It showed me how people really do take care of each other.

We went to go see my Aunt Fannie every day. She'd wait for us to pull up, and she'll say "Go get that trash over there that you saw, when you walked up and still didn't pick it up." And I used to always wonder why she did that. But it was because she loved her community. She loved her home, and she wanted to take care of it as best as she could.

There's nobody that grew up in the projects that didn't know who my Aunt Fannie was. She was a true pillar.

She sat on the porch every day in her chair, and her tea. And they'll come by, ask her if she needed anything from the store. She was well taken care of, very well taken care of there. It wasn't nobody that was walking down the sidewalk who didn't make sure my Aunt Fannie was good, so shout out to them. And I'll always appreciate them for it, wherever they all are.

Michael Ware and Rodney McIntosh

McIntosh is a pastor at Christ the Risen King Church, right next door to the projects. He and Ware, a truck driver, are close friends.

McINTOSH: Anything outside of the projects, once you become a part of it, you get there, the world really doesn't matter. Like, whatever y'all are doing in Fort Worth outside the four streets — Amanda, Liberty, Calumet and Avenue G — it doesn't matter to us. So even when you leave, you wake up, and that's where you're coming.

It's almost like having a family reunion every day.

WARE: People outside look at it like danger. We looked at it like, it's home!

We had a lady who used to — they used to have wooden fences over there. We used to sit on her fence, and you know how she run us out? She used to have a water sprinkler in her yard. When we get on her fence, she would actually go out there and cut that water sprinkler on. But didn't nobody — because we had so much respect for her, you know — all we would do is just run off and laugh.

McINTOSH [TO WARE]: That's why we're gonna miss the projects. You're about to make me cry, man, you playing, bro. Stop talking.

It's almost like different stages of grieving or something. At first, the people leaving, like, man, the people are gone. Then they're boarding up, man, there ain't nothing over here. And then, finally, they're tearing it down.

So even though it hurt, the reality of the matter is, I still understand. I think we both do. We talked about it, and I think change was inevitable.

WARE: Yeah. I mean, it's like history. That's been practically the majority of my history right there.

So yeah, them tearing it down, it hurt, because it's like a part of me is gone. But at the same token, change has to happen.

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.