JULY 15, 1958
HYDE PARK—Things are really moving in the way of integrated housing, it seems, because in the last few days two efforts in this direction have come to my attention.
One of these enterprises is outside of Philadelphia. It is called Concord Park Homes and was the first planned open occupancy homes for sale by a builder determined to build only integrated housing. It consists of 139 three and four-bedroom homes in the $12,000 to $16,000 range, in Trevose, Pa. All these homes have been sold and are occupied by 55 percent white families and 45 percent Negro families.
The same builder has another project called Greenbelt Knoll, with 19 homes in the higher price range of $20,000 to $30,000. This is a beautiful wooded site surrounded by parkland on four sides, including a two-acre private park, and only one mile from Pennypack Circle, Philadelphia. Here the home buyers are two-thirds white and one-third Negro.
The builder of these houses is a man named Morris Milgram, who lives in the Greenbelt development. The two sites have won a number of awards, and the builders feel they have learned a great deal about housing and about human relations. Mr. Milgram is now organizing "Modern Community Developers"—a nationwide organization to aid builders of open occupancy housing with capital and advice. I found Mr. Milgram deeply interested in his undertakings and a very vital and energetic human being.
The second housing enterprise was brought to my attention by two gentlemen—one white and one colored. They are planning to build a kind of residential continental club somewhere not too far away from New York, but in a rural area, to be open to both Negro and white American citizens on an equal basis, and also to all U. N. members or foreigners coming here from other countries in an official or semi-official capacity.
Now I am waiting to have someone announce the construction of apartment houses here in New York city on an open occupancy basis. I have tried to find one in the area in which I would like to live, but so far have been unsuccessful. I hope before long to hear of such a development.
The other day I received the annual report of the Catholic Hospital Association of the U. S. and Canada. With it came a note stressing the dedication of the nuns who become nurses in these hospitals.
It appears that much of the early nursing in this country was done in the frontier towns by nuns who undertook this service during the horrible cholera and plague attacks. In the early days, too, when people were afraid of anyone who was mentally ill, it was these same nurses who cared for them. Thus they were the pioneers in what we know as the hospital field today. Many of them were gentlewomen who left their homes and their families to do this type of religious work. Today, of course, these hospitals care for people of all races and all religions. Nurses in the Jewish and Protestant hospitals in our cities do the same. But we hear more of the devotion and type of training that our nurses get in the city, state and Federal hospitals, as well as in our great private centers, so that we tend to overlook the work of the nuns.