House and Apartments: House: 1921 & Apartments: 1940 1500 block of East 4th Street
Historic Designation: None
Owned by: Kent Riibe
Project by: Kent Riibe
Nominated by: Sarah Walker, who grew up near the properties
Councilmember: The Honorable Kelly Allen Gray
These charming buildings are all that remain in what was once a thriving African-American, early 20th century neighborhood called the Rock Island Bottom, or “The Bottom.” Within the shadow of the Purina Plant and tucked between I-35W and the Trinity River’s West Fork, the community was named for the nearby tracks of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroads. Today, only a white stucco house and a small apartment complex that started out as a motel are standing. Those who lived in this close-knit community owned shotgun houses, established African-American businesses, and looked out for each other’s children.