This week’s cover photo, “Julia’s Blue Moon Club, 1945” illustrates both the rich cultural history of Springfield’s African-American community and the fragile nature of its physical structures. The Blue Moon Club was among the dozens of buildings bulldozed during the “urban renewal” push of the 1960s when entire blocks of structures along Washington Street between Seventh and Ninth – the area that had been known as the Levee district – were demolished and cleared. Now there is new interest in the history of Springfield’s east side, thanks to a study described in Erika Holst’s cover story. Due to heroic efforts by citizens who realize their importance, historic structures remain – three are described here. These are sorely in need of funds for preservation rehabilitation. It’s time for leaders with access to capital – including the mayor and the governor – to step up to the plate and get this work done. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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