Betty Price was 14 years old when she visited the corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues to pick out the graduation dress she would wear in her junior high commencement.
Back then in the 1940s, the bustling intersection was lined with stores and restaurants, and Price, now 82, remembers her mother taking her there for shopping and the occasional meal.
But time has not been kind to Vermont and Manchester. Decades of urban decay and the 1992 riots left the shopping district abandoned. The property is empty, save for a homeless camp. Last month, a transient set two people on fire here.
Hope came a year ago when former Councilman Bernard C. Parks broke...