Photo: Dick Blume | The Post Standard – Winston Gaskin with his snow covered rose beds, 2/8/94
Author: Nancy Monast, Housing Visions Executive assistant
Winston Gaskin was one of those remarkable people. To his friends he was known as Win and, according to Ken Craig, co-founder of Housing Visions, Win knew everybody. He arrived in Syracuse in 1963 and was a practicing pharmacist for 30 years. Winston Gaskin was a World War II Veteran and a gentleman of many skills with many interests. He was an investment and insurance specialist, and an avid and skilled rosarian who often volunteered at the E. M. Mills rose garden. Dorothy White, a current member of the Syracuse Rose Society, remembered him as a kind, generous man who was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone who asked. He was a President of the Syracuse Rose Society and accredited rose show judge. He also raised orchids in his greenhouse.
Win Gaskin devoted a lot of his time and energy to the University United Methodist Church. The Church’s Reverand Hal Garmin introduced Ken Craig to Win Gaskin and tasked them to come up with a plan that would revitilize the East Side of Syracuse. The collorabation of the three gentlemen became Housing Visions Unlimited and, from the three original houses revitalized on East Genesee Street in 1990 to the 376 buildings and $537 million of community investment through 2021, Housing Visions continues its mission to be the catalyst for sustainable positive change through real estate development and community collaboration.
Win Gaskin and Ken Craig remained lifelong friends. Win introduced Ken to the opera and Ken introduced Win to the symphony.
His legacy of community involvement continues today with the Winston Gaskin Community Walk for Health and Wellness presented by 100 Black Men of Syracuse. The annual family-friendly event, which is being offered for the first time at Kirk Park in Syracuse, is free and open to the public. The walk is dedicated to honoring the legacy of Winston Gaskin as well as an opportunity to raise awareness about a variety of health issues and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Housing Visions is proud to have been part of Winston Gaskin’s longstanding legacy in the Syracuse community and strives to uphold the values that he, Ken Craig and Rev. Hal Garmin began over 30 years ago.