Fourteen property owners in the neighborhood bought the c.1930s gas station at NE corner of Oakdale and McLendon when they felt it was endangered. It was restored and turned into an arts and crafts gallery co-operative, “Candler Park Corner.” Judith Gott, one of those artists, still owns the building and the small nook on its right side houses Maria Nagy’s Hungarian bakery, Palacsinta.
Community spirit and engagement was a high priority at the time. In 1984, the neighborhood was poised to rally yet again around the proposed Presidential Parkway (a battle which had been temporarily won in the early 1970s), but, “while restoring and renovating,” residents also “found time to organize a community theater, open arts and crafts shops, [and] fight crime” according to a February 2, 1984 article which came out just after the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. That nomination, by the way, can be found here.
This neighborhood wouldn’t be what it is today with the activists of its past and though the neighborhood is prospering today I think we have a lot to learn from the Candler Park of the 1970s and 80s.