Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on September 17, 1959 · Page 22
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 22

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 17, 1959
Page 22
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22 Thursday. Sept. 17. '53 DETROIT FREE PRESS Time Spent on Road Traffic cuts down the speed of Detroit motorists to 20 miles an hour in the afternoon rush hours. A survey of traffic habits In America's larger cities by Fortune Magazine showed that Detroiters can travel only 10 miles In the first 30 minutes they are on the road going home at .rush hour. The average commuter needs 27 minutes to get to work in the morning and 32 V2 minutes to get home at night. i Lafayette Park Community the Finest in Modern Living OUR PART! supplying the finest concrete mOWM 7E1AMSI? MIX DIVISION OF PinerieSge Coal Co. PRODUCERS OF DOLOMITE CONCRETE 1470 E. AT WATER, DETROIT WO 1-4186 a salute . lafayette community We of StarTdarcl-Detroit Paint pride ourselves on Efficiency and Service. As a specialist, Standard-Detroit paint co., works directly with Architects and Contractors in formulating quality paints to meet specific needs and problems. Remember! ... qucliiy and satisfaction begin with Standard-Detroit paint. STANDARD-DETROIT PAINT CO. 8225 Lyndon Detroit WE 3-1970 Newest, most modern Electric Installations in LAFAYETTE Park (Dorimity by MADISON ELECTRIC CO. 6000 WOODWARD, DETROIT 2 TR 5-1560 SUBURBAN LIVING-DOWNTOWN DETROIT? Yes, Lafayette Park Community is all of that and more to us it means another fine installation and more important a satisfied customer! we SPECIALIZE in-Ceramic Tile Terrazzo Marble & Mosiacs quality workmanship Michielutti Bros. 15033 E. 9 MILE RD. EAST DETROIT PR. 6-4990 i - , -l . v. . M i. ! t j I '! " f "" j '1'" , . ul 1 ' ' . 4 , I 'i Development Started By Citizens Group A non-profit Cltirens Redevelopment Corporation spearhead ed efforts that brought the Lafayette Park Community into being. Stalled in efforts to attract a developer, the city turned in 1954 to the citizens corporation composed of business, industry, civio and labor leaders. With James W. Bell as co ordinator, the group went to work and interested Chicago developers Samuel X. Katrin and the late Herbert 5. Greemvald in the project. Current officers of the 21-member group are R. T. Johnstone, president; Dr. A. V. Curtiss, vice president; Walter P. Reuther. vice president, and Walter Gehrke. secretarv-treasurer. Kuth Belew Looks from Her Apartment Toward Her One-Koom Schoolhouse ere's a One-Room School In the Heart of Detroit BT DOX BECK Fre Pres Staff Writer A one-room schoolhouse in the middle of a multimil-lion -dollar, ultra - modern apartment development in the heart of Detroit sounds like a throwback to the 19th Century until you talk to Ruth Belew. Miss Belew Is well equipped to run Detroit's only one-room schoolhouse. She has taught every elementary grade. She can handle home economics, art, manual training, science, arithmetic, social studies and can even drive a truck. "I can't sing, but we should b able to work something out," said the vivacious brunet who has been a Detroit schoolteacher sine 1941 with time out for Red Cross servic In Africa and Europe during World War n. She'll need to be resourceful as she works with the dozen youngsters in kindergarten through eighth grade who are starting school in a "Town House" unit in plush Lafayette Park. Miss Belew is an "old-timer" at the exclusive apartment development rising in the Gratiot Redevelopment Area, where slums once marred Detroit'3 near East Side. SHE WAS one of the first tenants in the first unit opened, the 22-story glas3 and steel Pavilion Apartments. A friendly, personable woman who takes a keen interest in what is happening around her, she made it a point to get to know her neighbors as they moved in. At that time, she was finishing up 16 months as director of a Board of Education-United Community Services project aimed at improving the leadership abilities of women in the Camp Fire, Girl Scout and Y-Teen programs. THAT JOB ended this summer and Mis3 Belew figured she'd be going back to regular classroom teaching. But her new neighbors were already working on a plan of their own to get her lined up as the teacher in a public school they wanted set up in Lafayette Park. "They really need a school here." Miss Belew aid. "This is a development designed to attract families. "If the children were forced to cross busy streets like Gratiot or Congress and Lamed to get to existing schools, some parents would balk at moving in." Attempts to get a new school ran into what once appeared to b an insoluble problem. THE SCHOOL Board argued it couldn't set up a school, and staff it, nntil there were enough school-age children to warrant such a move. The Lafayette Park developers argued they could attract families with school-age children if ths school facilities were there. The deadlock was finally broken when the developers offered the ue free of one f the Town House units, a two-story terrace apartment with its own basement, brand new, that usually rents for $200 a month or sells for S22.OO0. Miss Belew was formally offered the job as teacher. "It was a bit frightening to think of having to teach kindergarten and all eight grades, but the challenge was so great that I just couldn t turn it down," she said. a SHE SPEXT her rammer vacation cramming on elementary curricula, lining up supplies and materials and holding think sessions with other teachers. "I want to make it a child-centered school and I want to get the children interested in some learning projects in which all ages can participate," Mis3 Belew said. "I taught In Hawaii and visited Alaska. I think that, ' since they are our newest states, we might b able to have school projects on them. "That would get us into geography, social studies, history. The girls could learn to cook native dishes." There's a complete kitchen in the Town House unit and Miss Belew plans to make full use of it. "I HAD hoped to use the basement for a workshop for the boys," Miss Belew said. "I even asked about a workbench and hand tools. I taught manual training in Hawaii. "But It was decided that it might be better to hold off on that kind of instruction for the first semester because of the supervision problems." Right there is what Miss Belew expects will be her toughest problem supervising a dozen or more youngsters ranging from 5 to 13 years. "I'm not much worried about them getting into mischief ag I am in keeping them learning," she said. SHE WAS frank in saying that she doesn't expect the children in her one-room schoolhouse to get as much formal education as youngsters in regular public schools. "But what they miss there will be more than made up for in the informal educational process, the learning to work with others and on their own." Miss Belew added that her students will be getting more homework, too. "But this whole thing should be a lot of fun and worth while, too," she said. "We have the entire downtown area as our classroom. It will be easy for us to visit the City -County Building, Traffic Court and other downtown governmental operations, or to take a bus out to the Art Center for visits to the Historical Museum, the Art Institute and the Main Library. "And then, too, we have, right here in Lafayette Park, a lot of people who can be called on to help us in our problems." MISS BELEW said she knew several talented artists who have volunteered to stop in for art classes. Ditto musicians. "Circuit Judge Wade Mc-Creehasa 12-year-old daughter and I think she'll be attending our school," Mis3 Belew said. "We may call on the Judge as a legl expert." She looked out through the giant windows In her Tav-vilion apartment, at the Town Houses and the one-story Court Houses. "This i3 a fine community," Miss Belew said. "We are here by choice because we love the city and can be close to it. "In some ways, it's like a small town. We can be close to each other. But. unlike a small town, we don't pry much into the private lives of others." SHE SAID she didn't expect there would be anything a3 forma! as a Parent-Teacher Association group. "We already know each other." Miss Belew laughed. And the children already know their teacher. They've eeen her strolling around the Lafayette Park area. Many of them have listened to her record collection on the hi-fl phonograph in her a p ar t m e n t. Some have watched her work on a bead curtain she's making for a closet. "When I was in the Mideast during the war, I was fascinated by the bead curtains in the Arab cafes, so I'm making one," she explained. MISS BELEW is fascinated by many things, has done many things and appears completely capable of doing anything if she puts her mind to it. She didn't care for the white walls in the tiny kitchen in her efficiency apartment. She painted them pink and put up a big section of pegboard to hang pots and pans. She made a temporary end table out of a cardboard box and plastic wood-grained material. It takes a close look to see that it isn't something turned out in Orand Rapids. Miss Belew has more time for her many interests now. "I used to live out in Red-ford Township," she said. "I found I was driving 80 miles a day wnth all my activities. I moved downtown and cut the mileage in half. "With my new assignment, I won't have to drive at all. "It's only about 300 or 400 feet to the schoolhouse, there's a hairdresser right in the building and I can take a bus or taxi for swimming at the YWCA or to the Symphony. That leaves her with a 1957 pink convertible. "It's for sale," she said. CotuUtuHtcd with L. VENTROLA, Bathroom and Kitchen VENTILATING FANS Model 920 Multi-Poution Wan or Calling Venh'ofew with toofie Waffirfok Shutter ItlutfrctJ at right Venfrola Model 408 Bathroom Ventilator and Model 923 Mufti-Position Kitchen Ventilators were (elected for Injta (lotion In beautiful Lafayette Plabanee became they met specific engineering requirements in oil1 movement. These quality product are tops In beauty, performance, dependability and easy removal of motor blade assembly for cleaning. I Installation by A.J.SEGAL S SONS CONTRACTORS 29131 Michigan Ave., Inkster, Michigan LOgcm 3-1990 PArlcway 1-2700 In the Magnificent Lafayette Park OMMUNITY THE BEST IN MILLWORK BY WALLICH LUMBER 3741 ST. AUBIN 2 YARDS TO SERVE YOU 14541 SCHAEFER I ji i hi ' 1 ; i ; J - ; H ' . f HI ? l il tHj jif s s , I . 1 kilt - - ' I , ' - - - - ! I f- v- " " II ' i 1 - . - - . " , . 1 -27? Ji f-f 7Z -J, 1? m M M m M m mm mm m m J M c m uw &x 4r P (jimlweuy dec&iam V- wazMe mm wm& . f. . . --. - ;camon. winuim Rcb'nson Furniture welcomes this wone'erfu! new way of metropolitan living as represented by the Lafayette Town House and Piaisanee. Visit this delightful downtown dwel'ing and see the Town House at 1352 Nicolet Place furnished by Robinson Furniture and tastefully decorated by one of their own ta'ented decorators. This same decorating service is avai'ab'e to you. Call any one of our three stores for a consultation with ere of cur decorators at ro obligation. DOWNTOWN NORTHLAND EASTLAND

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