On a map, Edison, the most populous of the Kalamazoo’s 22 neighborhoods, is shaped like a work boot with one loose shoelace, an apt symbol for a neighborhood that is a little hardscrabble tossed with historical and urban charm.
The collar of the boot (the north border), includes Mayor’s Riverfront Park and the Kalamazoo River; the calf (west border) side bordered by Burdick up to the back ankle is the central downtown business district: the heel is Alcott Street, the sole is Miller Road (south border), the shin is the I-94 Beltline/Kings Highway (east border) down to the toe, which is Olmsted Road.
Named after a neighborhood school, the Edison Environmental Science Academy, a magnet elementary school, which was in turn, named after Thomas Edison, America’s best-known inventor, the Edison neighborhood is largely comprised of production, service and construction workers, people who have literally helped build and rebuild the city, as well as healthcare, office, and food service workers, people who take care of the city and its residents.
And in the spirit of its namesake, Edison continues to invent itself, even when growth and revitalization have failed to deliver on hoped-for promises. As the Edison Neighborhood Association this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, the city’s Foundation for Excellence is initiating efforts to improve its neighborhood systems, which means a new Edison Plan. With recent economic upturns both for the neighborhood and the city, as well as community and police efforts to lessen violent crime, the future looks bright.
Ask Edison residents what makes the neighborhood special, and without exception, the answer is diversity.
Read more about the magic of Edison and community residents by reading the full article here.