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BP Land Grab Riles Residents In Historic Community

Nancy Harty Nancy Harty
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CHICAGO (CBS) — BP’s interest in buying land next to its Whiting Refinery has riled up some residents of a small but historic community in Northwest Indiana.

Marktown was designed by Chicago Architect Howard Van Doren Shaw almost 100 years ago and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 200 unit community was the first affordable worker housing site to include modern amenities in the home.

While some may struggle to understand the appeal of living in the shadows of steel mills and oil refineries, Kimberly Rodriquez has been happy to call it home for 54 years.

“It has always been a community where everyone pretty much knows everybody. Everybody watches everybody else’s children,” said Rodriguez.

As Rodriquez is circulating petitions to stop BP from buying up any of the vacant units, a company spokesman says no one has to sell if they don’t want to.

Scott Dean says BP is simply interested in land acquisition adjacent to the refinery for parking, storage and green space – as they have in other places several times over the last 20 years.