Donna Belles lives on West 64th Street in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. She lives in a house that her grandmother owned. Donna tells the story of her grandmother who moved into the neighborhood in 1950. She came to Cleveland from Pennsylvania for work. At one time her grandmother owned three houses on the street. She was able to buy them because her uncles sent her money during the war. Belles has lived in the neighborhood her whole life. She reminisces about growing up in the neighborhood and how it changed for the worse over time. She believes that the 1970s were the low point. At that time the Gordon Square Arcade was a rooming house and was filthy and unkempt. The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) was started by concerned citizens in the area who didn't want to see the neighborhood deteriorate. Today DSCDO makes sure buildings are maintained. Belles talks about the importance of the churches in the neighborhood. She also discusses how I-90 disrupted the neighborhood and especially St. Colman's.


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Belles, Donna J. (interveiwee)


Dorsey, Josh (interviewer)


Detroit Shoreway



Document Type

Oral History

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