Early History of the U.N.I.T. Neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas
Around 1968 some neighbors in the area attended a conference encouraging neighborhood associations to help keep neighborhoods vital and healthy.
Apartment zoning in the neighborhood was first requested about 1971 and failed to be approved. Hulen Penney tried again about eighteen months later for apartment zoning on the northwest corner of 26thst Street and Akron avenue. Darrell and Mary Vines went to City Hall to object along with many other neighborhood residents. Ann Nail, on the southeast corner of that intersection, Lady Brown, and Barbara Benson were leaders in the fight to stop apartment zoning, which was rejected again.
A few months later several of these original participants discussed neighborhood organization for proactive, not reactive plans. Neighborhood streets/residents from the Polk Crisscross City Directory were contacted, and a small group of interested residents found residents to serve as officers and committee members. Block people were selected to distribute meeting notices, and the UNIT Neighborhood Association was up and running in November 1974. Gordon Treadaway, longtime resident suggested using the bounding streets acronym as the association name: University,Nineteenth, Indiana, Thirty-fourth, and the U.N.I.T.Neighborhood was born. Although neighborhood organization had been attempted earlier in Lubbock by outside organizers, this was the first voluntary association in Lubbock organized strictly by residents within the area. Overton South Neighborhood Association was organized a few months later with help from Barbara Benson, using some of the UNIT organizing strategies as a model.
For a period of time in the 1980’s, the U.N.I.T. Association was dormant, but it still had enough reputation as a power to be dealt with that the UNIT name was successfully invoked when there appeared to be a threat to neighborhood values. In the late eighties, some neighborhood controversies made it clear that renewed unity and organization was needed. Once again, with strong urging from Jack Thompson and Robin Adams Parks, the Polk Crisscross Directory was used to get out a notice. A meeting was held and the UNIT neighborhood reorganized. Darrell Vines was persuaded to be the chairman for two years with his wife Mary Marcom Vines as his helper. They were diligent to maintain organizational records of the association. Lee and Marjorie Manning gave long and strong leadership, chairing from 1989 to 2004.
Neighborhood meetings were held several times a year, and neighbors met at Roscoe Wilson Elementary School or J.T. Hutchinson Junior High School. Early projects included clean up days, establishing a quarterly newsletter, and dealing with zoning issues which would have eaten into the edges of the neighborhood. Block chairmen hand-carried notices of meetings to every house in the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Association Goals which contribute to the preservation and enhancement of our central city neighborhood include the following:
Maintaining designation of single family dwellings
Cooperating with the City of Lubbock to enforce zoning ordinances
Encouraging neighborhood involvement and interaction
Encouraging pride in home ownership
Supporting the schools in the UNIT neighborhood area
Preventing commercial intrusion and urban blight
Valuing a diverse community which surrounds historic educational and shopping areas
Accomplishments of the UNIT Neighborhood Association
Holiday Home Tour, annually since 1988
Resident Parking Designations
Yard of the Month awards
Neighborhood street sign toppers designating UNIT
Tech Terrace Park Walking Path- a cooperative project with the City
Flower Beds in Tech Terrace Park
Purchasing and planting trees in Wagner Park and Tech Terrace
Spring kite festival at Tech Terrace
Provided a wind block around tennis courts at Wagner Park
Donations to Roscoe Wilson and J.T. Hutchinson Schools
Roscoe Wilson Fall Festival and Pumpkin Carving
Active support for the creation of the LEAP program at LHS and magnet schools at Roscoe Wilson and J.T. Hutchinson
UNIT Neighborhood Lawn Mower Precision Drill Team marched in the July 4 parade from1993-2005
UNIT web site
Street block parties from time to time
Since 1974 Tech Terrace neighbors have worked cooperatively to enjoy the neighborhood and to make improvements for the enjoyment of its residents. Many have made significant contributions to the U.N.I.T. neighborhood association. Some of those leaders have been Mary and Darrell Vines, Nat Kizer, James Harris, Ada Rummel, Lee and Marjorie Manning, Deena and Jerry Matthews, Cyd Seideman, Carroll and Helen Holley, Daryl Cummings, and Ami Hill.
Many other residents have opened their homes for the Holiday Home Tour, held committee meetings, planted flowers in the parks, served as chairmen, or met with the City staff for support and for hearings.
TOGETHER WE MOVE CONFIDENTLY INTO THE FUTURE.
July, 2018 Gertrude Miller Information provided by Mary and Darrell Vines, Cyd Seideman, Marjorie Manning.