South Bend, Honeywell to treat lead soil in LaSalle Park neighborhood

SOUTH BEND — Tucked between train tracks to the north and Western Avenue to the south, the LaSalle Park neighborhood on South Bend’s west side was for much of the 20th century one of a few places where people of color lived.

The area known as The Lake became “the heart of African American life” in the city during its industrial boom, according to the Civil Rights Heritage Center. Many residents held manufacturing jobs at Bendix Corp. or Studebaker Corp.

To this day, the area’s residents are predominantly Black.

It was in a lot adjacent to this cultural hub where Bendix and others chose to dump toxic waste for decades.

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“Instead of discarding it to a landfill,” said Henry Davis Jr., who represents the area on the South Bend Common Council, “the landfill was placed right there in the middle of a neighborhood.”

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