Martha Park

Martha Park is a writer and illustrator from Memphis, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Granta, Ecotone Magazine, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

photo: the Great American Pyramid in Memphis

When Memphis Fell for a Pyramid Scheme

The Great American Pyramid was supposed to give the Tennessee city an architectural landmark for the ages. Instead, it got a very large sporting goods store.

In Memphis, An Unfair Future

The final days of Foote Homes reflects the city’s inability to protect its public housing residents in the face of private redevelopment.

To Save a Town ‘By the Grace of God’

Ben Carson’s HUD is shutting down two of the largest housing projects in Cairo, Illinois, leaving the town’s fate to a higher power.

Giving a Memphis Hero the Recognition He Deserves

In 1925, Tom Lee—a black man who couldn’t swim—saved 32 white people from a sinking ship in the Mississippi River. Memphis’s unfortunate attempt to honor him and the decline of his own neighborhood speaks to the city’s ongoing struggle to become a more equitable place.

Even the Dead Could Not Stay

An illustrated history of urban renewal in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Dumas Hotel in Roanoke, Virginia.

When a ‘Green Book’ Site Goes Up for Sale

The Dumas Hotel was a rare constant in Roanoke’s Gainsboro neighborhood in the face of urban renewal. One group had a valiant effort to put its fate in their own hands when it hit the market last spring.