|From “Background” on the study (p. 2)
Pralltown came into being as an identifiable entity in the late 1860s and early 1870s when John Prall, prominent lawyer and abolishionist [sic], subdivided his lands in the present Pralltown area and made them available to freed slaves for residential use. From its beginning, Pralltown has enjoyed a strong sense of community and neighborhood identity. Employment opportunities for early residents of the settlement were close at hand. Adjacent large estates, the newly established railroad, the developing tobacco industry, and then the University of Kentucky provided a coherent employment base for the Pralltown Labor Force. With more recent expansion and diversification of available job opportunities, this close-knit relationship between home and job has, of course, become considerably altered.
Acquisition of neighborhood lands by the University of Kentucky (presently used for parking) and the recent clearance of residential lands by way of the Urban renewal program (42 dwellings, approx. 5 acres) has reinforced an outward migration from the area. The long standing basic housing stock, largely of the wood frame “shot-gun” type, has become, in all the many cases, seriously deteriorated. Still, Pralltown remains “home,” even in its presently attenuated and “sub-standard” form, not only for residents, but also for many former residents. It is one of the primary intentions of this study to identify and examine possible means of re-establishing and reinforcing Pralltown as a viable and identifiable urban community within the context of its traditional socio-cultural and economic characteristics.
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