On the historic maps, click on an area to see the appraiser's description, which will appear on the right. To enlarge those descriptions, click on it and it will appear on the left. Scroll around to see how they identified the neighborhood and its inhabitants and how appraisers felt about the area's long-term prospects.
Back in the late 1930s, the black population of Battle Creek hugged the neighborhoods west of downtown on either side of the Kalamazoo River. So too today: The neighborhood on the north side is 62 percent African-American, the south 38 percent in a city where just 18 percent of residents are black. There were no blacks east of West Street in 1937 and it remains a dividing line: 19.6 percent of the population is black to the east of it; 62 percent west.