The African American community grew in the coming decades and established civic organizations, founded churches, and called for schools to be established. By 1900, the community was thriving and produced a number of notable residents including poet Melvin Tolson. However, the community began to struggle during the Great Depression and afterward as well. In the 1950s, the city grew worried about the neighborhood and decided to redevelop it, ultimately concluding that it should become a park in the 1960s. Not surprisingly, residents strongly opposed the plan. Despite their efforts, the plan moved forward and the park was created as part a larger urban renewal effort undertaken by the city.