Lanard Robinson has been living in Washington Park for twenty years. Three years ago, he moved from his previous home on 29th Street to the building he now shares with his friends Leroy Washington and Mark Whaley on Lisbon Avenue. But before choosing this neighborhood in 1996 as the place where he would live and raise his children, Robinson finished high school and joined the United States Marines. He is proud to be Marine and a Milwaukee resident.
Robinson explains the choice of moving to the new house: "This new apartment was bigger than the other I had. Same owners, and I already had a good relationship with them." At that time, he had no idea he would share this larger space with his friends and their children. He met his current co-residents while working at MPS--Milwaukee Public School--a few years ago. Their current living situation works for everybody, and it seems to be a great house for a large family.
Their house is a cozy environment with many personal details. Robinson has kept a little bit of his childhood there, including some objects that belonged to his family. In addition to the house, Robinson adds that Washington Park is an important space for the community and also for his family. His visits to the park over the past twenty years make up many fond memories. Today, he takes his youngest children and grandson to the park just as he took his older children years ago. Washington Park has changed a lot since Robinson moved to neighborhood in 1996 and he sees it as positive improvement for everyone.
The neighborhood is starting to get a different feeling. Buildings that were once occupied by families and institutions are now abandoned. However, new investors are snapping these vacant properties up and transforming them into something that may improve the community. Perhaps the only thing missing to contribute to Robinson's life in the neighborhood is an ice cream shop –– a perfect destination to socialize with neighbors and satisfy his children's desire on a sunny summer in Milwaukee.
Lanard Robinson, Interviewed by Maisa Bastos and Yiming Tang, June 2016
Name: Lanard Robinson
Born: Milwaukee, WI, 1967 (age 49)
Lives in: Milwaukee, WI (1967 - present)
Occupation: Works at James Madison Academic Campus
Children: 3 Biological children; 2 Step children
Education: North Division High School, Milwaukee, WI