How can a declining neighborhood be turned around before it’s too late? And how does a neighborhood’s history influence its future? Lucas Kreuzer ’20, a German and political science major from Merion Station, Pennsylvania, tackled these questions as an intern with the Knox County Land Bank, a public-private partnership working to revitalize troubled properties in the communities that surround Kenyon.
Using the knowledge he gained through an independent research project on the industrial history of neighboring Mount Vernon, Kreuzer performed an in-depth analysis of the history and architecture of Ohio Avenue and Howard Street. Using that information, the land bank devised a plan for remaking this neighborhood and worked with investors to purchase and restore blighted residential properties. Kreuzer’s work built a foundation that will help the land bank stabilize the community, increase land values, and attract investors and new residents to homes once in danger of demolition.