Turning the corner: A neighborhood in transition
For 72 years, the red brick building on the corner of 11th and G streets was home to a bakery and then a grocery store, owned and operated by the Klein family. Started by Germans from Russia immigrants, the business was the heart of the Everett neighborhood until the grocery closed in 2005.
Today, the area, once known as Klein’s Corner, boasts a bakery and a grocery store, both of which also are owned by immigrants. Outside, the new owners have hung a red awning with white letters that says in Spanish “Esquina de los Hispanos” or “Corner of Hispanics.”
“It’s really the same people,” John Klein, son of the owner, told the Lincoln Journal Star in 2014. “They didn’t have a lot of money then and they don’t now, but they’re hard-working people.”
That the Everett neighborhood seems to have come full circle should be no surprise. Located close to downtown Lincoln and state government, this neighborhood located between H and South streets from Ninth to 13th streets has a history of being a hub for people of diverse backgrounds and different socioeconomic statuses.
Some of Lincoln’s wealthiest and prominent people lived in mansions in Everett. And just down the street from them, the city’s increasing immigrant population lived in apartment buildings like La Belle, built at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1883, the State of Nebraska deeded land on F Street to Mount Zion Baptist Church, the second oldest African-American congregation in Lincoln.
Today, Everett remains a neighborhood of contradictions and changes. In the shadow of the Capitol building and only a few blocks from the Governor’s Mansion, half of the neighborhood falls under the category of “extreme poverty” because more than 40 percent of people living there live below the poverty line, according to the Lincoln Community Foundation’s 2014 Lincoln Vital Signs report.
Similar scenarios are playing out at other Lincoln neighborhoods as the city’s demographics continue to shift and change. At least five other neighborhoods are becoming significantly diverse and are expected to continue to be so. Some are dealing with the change better than others.
The Everett neighborhood’s latest chapter seems to be bright. Crime is down. Thanks to an influx of Hispanic-owned businesses, the retail district is bustling. Neighborhood beautification efforts are underway. And people are investing in the neighborhood. Landlords, city and school officials, police and residents are pushing for a comeback in this neighborhood of changing demographics and aging infrastructure.
This reporting project explores the changes in the Everett neighborhood from a variety of angles: the people who live there; the businesses that operate there; and the efforts of its residents and city officials to tackle the neighborhood’s unique problems.
Stories in this series:Changes in Everett neighborhood echo across Lincoln Neighbors in action: the anatomy of a comeback. The heart of Everett — the business district — has a new rhythm The people of Everett: ‘All walks of life live down here’ Neighborhood’s unofficial watchdog helps in many ways
About this project
This multimedia news project was conceived, written and produced by students in Journalism 450, a senior capstone course for journalism majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The project was done in connection with the Heartland Project, a Ford Foundation-funded project designed to address the lack of news coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Nebraska. The Asian American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association partnered on the project.
These UNL students spent many hours in the neighborhood getting to know residents and neighborhood leaders so they could tell the story of Everett in this multimedia series:
Special thanks to Teresa Lostroh and Magdalena Madera, who helped provide translation during interviews.