Knox Street Blues

Seeing Lewiston at street level

“There were cretainly times when it wasn’t comfortable,” said Noah Corwin ’04, discussing how he and Alec Maybarduk ’05 created a “neighborhood portrait” for the environmental studies seminar “Study of the city.”

Alec Maybarduk '05

The class was asked to use research and interpret the character of a Lewiston neighborhood. Corwin and Maybarduk ended up with Lewiston’s hard-bitten Knox Street district, a land of ups and downs.

Among the downs was the initial trepifation– sometimes justified–the pair felt about interviewing residents of these impoverished streets.

The ups? Sam, the 90-year-old neighborhood lifer who remembers cows grazing there. The factory that still makes thread for stitching shoes. Calvin Dude, shepherd to the down-and-out at the Trinity Jubilee Center.

In the end, “people were overwhelmingly warm,” Maybarduk said. And taking the cool with the warm was the point. As their teacher, Brunswick town planner Theo Holtwijk, put it: “If we’re going to learn about city issues, we’re not going to do it sitting ina classroom. You’ve got to get out there.”