Redefining Redlining is an installation by artist Amanda Williams. In fall 2022, artist Amanda Williams, in collaboration with Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative, led hundreds of friends, neighbors and strangers alike in a mass planting of 100,000 red tulips. The bulbs were planted in the shape of the almost 2 dozen houses and buildings that should still occupy this site. These tulip building footprints are meant to symbolize the value of the homes that used to be here, but more importantly the worth of the people that are here now and the beautiful black neighborhoods that can be here in the future.
Volunteers & Residents
Red Tulip Bulbs
Former House Footprints
Red tulips will continue to bloom each spring, repeatedly bringing a burst of colorful joy, but also making visible the detrimental impact of redlining on black neighborhoods. Tulips in particular were used because of the value their bulbs once held in a Dutch era known as Tulipmania. During that time, speculation over the future beauty of the bulbs alone, meant they sometimes sold for as much as the price of a home. Let’s imagine our collective beauty, worth and power.
Have you been watching the tulips grow?
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Redlining is defined by Oxford Languages (Dictionary) as,
“to refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.”
"banks have redlined loans to buyers"
The University of Richmond has created an extensive database called Mapping Inequality of the Home Owners Loan Corporation maps. To see maps of city neighborhoods’ credit-worthiness created during the 1930s New Deal as part of a government-insured mortgage program, click here.
To learn more more about redlining and its effects click below.
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute explains redlining to learn more.
“To refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.”
"An empty parcel of land in which a building once stood, the disproportionate number of vacant lots that exist on the south and west sides of Chicago are directly related to the practice of redlining."
“An artist bringing together a large group of people to creatively activate a place on a temporary basis.”
The Atlantic, Chicago’s Awful Divide
The Atlantic, Remember Redlining? It’s Alive and Evolving
Chicago Magazine, How Redlining Segregated Chicago, and America
Crains New York, A Sad End to Hudson City Savings Bank
Shelterforce, How Poorly Maintained Bank-Owned Homes Harm Black and Latino Communities
Shelterforce, Insurance Redlining: Still Fact, Not Fiction
Shelterforce, Tainted Loans: Fighting Toxic Mortgages in Court
Shelterforce, Taking Back the Front Porch: Using Art to Reclaim Community Identity
The New York Times, Judge Allows Redlining Suits to Proceed
The New York Times, Blacks Still Face a Red Line on Housing
The New York Times, What is Redlining?
The New York Times, How Redlining’s Racist Effects Lasted for Decades