Chapter 5.3: Attitudes of Heirs



List of Tables, Maps, Illustrations, and Figures


1. Symbolism, Self and Urban Environment
    Residential Succession: How "Losers" Win
    Negro Pioneers and White Flight
    Relative Selectability among Minority Invaders
    Symbolic History and Self
    Symbolic History: Modern and Ancient Foundations

2. Self Selection and Urban Decay
    The Social Character of the Manor

3. Woodland to City Neighborhood: 300 Years of Change
    Indians, Geology and Transportation
    Protecting the Community: Covenant and Zoning
    Increasing Community Parameters

4. Invasion and Succession

    Irish and Italian Catholics
    Veterans: Undesirable Heroes
    Blacks and the Special Problems of Nonwhite Invaders
    Back to City Brownstones: A Confused Invasion
    The Invasion Mentality

5. Micrological Aspects of Urban Problems
    Involuntary Change: Aging and Death
    Attidues of Heirs
    Apartment Houses: The Big Change
    The Life of a Tenant and a Building
    Understanding Intricate Urban Problems

6. Stigma and Self-Image in the Inner City
    Achievement and Residentia Movement
    The Moral Careers of Inner-City Residents
    The Community Paradigm
    Implications and Applications


There are many other people who are much more dangerous to the Manor because they are either ignorant of the symbolic value of the community, or hold other values that they consider to be more important. For example, it is not unusual for the property of deceased or institutionalized old-timers to be taken over by persons who are not familiar with the area. These people often consider the property to be an economic liability because it is the "inner city." A few have abandoned their inherited houses, but more sell them for low prices to real estate speculators who try to convert the structure to multiple-family or rooming house uses.

Since 1960, the attempts by heirs and agents to convert Manor property to commercial use seems to be related to the perception of the community by outsiders that, because the population is predominately nonwhite, there would be little chance of finding buyers of one-family homes. The Manor to these people is "just another place," not a unique, elite community which deserves special treatment. White and nonwhite homeowners reported that they found it difficult to find Manor homes on the open real estate market. When they learned of a Manor house for sale, black buyers in particular were told by agents and lawyers that they would have little difficulty finding renters or roomers, who would make it easier to pay mortgage and other costs.

Even after black Manorites moved in they were often referred to by deliverymen and others as "tenants." Their mail slots were stuffed with letters and flyers addressed to numerous "occupants." Today this is a more common non-racial phenomenon. These and other occurrences make it quite clear that the one-family definition of the Lefferts Manor is not universally shared. It is also clear that the ignorance of this special meaning, or disrespect for it, presents a constant danger to the viability and stability of the community.

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