Reverend Adam Jamison preached urban renewal but now it’s his home that stands empty, set for demolition

Pictured is 545 Oakwood Avenue. One of the last residents of this home was Reverend Adam Jamison. A native of Walterboro, South Carolina, Jamison was a Syracuse resident for 38 years. A local pastor, he originally worked at Crucible Steel before opening Tip Top Barber Shop on South State Street, which he operated for over twenty years. Jamison was known across the South Side for the civic mantra he spoke and acted upon for the betterment of the area. Local historian, Dick Case, once called his shop a “non-designated community center.” Jamison preached urban renewal and beautification, pushing his hope for a redeveloped South Side. Jamison’s passion was evident in the way he cared for his own home. He had bought the home for a dollar from the city and rehabbed it himself. Here with his wife, Hessie, they raised their six children. The front yard had a vegetable garden, fruit trees and grape arbor. Jamison could often be found walking the streets to pick up any litter that was left around his neighborhood. In a 1988 interview with Case, Jamison discussed his vision for the area. He remarked that, “We’ve given too much attention to downtown and the suburbs” adding that, “Everyone wants to build from scratch, yet here, south of Adams Street, all these fine buildings stand empty.” Jamison would die the following year, at the age of 74. Today, it’s Jamison’s former home that stands empty, set for demolition in the near future.