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  • Techwood Homes


    Techwood Homes, late 1930s Family in Techwood Homes apartment, late 1930sTechwood Homes was an early public housing project in the United States, opened just before the First Houses. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, it replaced a shantytown known as Tanyard Bottom or Tech Flats. It was completed on August 15, 1936, but was dedicated on November 29 of the previous year by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The apartments included bathtubs and electric ranges in each unit, 189 of which had garages. Central laundry facilities, a kindergarten and a library were also provided. Techwood was intended to eliminate the slums that the poor had been living in, but eventually became one itself. The complex was designed by Georgia Tech alumnus and architect Flippen David Burge (later Stevens & Wilkinson), and organized by Charles Forrest Palmer, a real estate developer who had become an expert on public housing and would later head up both the newly created Atlanta Housing Authority and the Chamber of Commerce. The landscaping was designed by Edith Henderson, who also designed the neighboring Clark Howell Homes with her partner Grace Campbell. The name came from Techwood Drive, in turn named for nearby Georgia Tech. The project included a 300-student dormitory for Georgia Tech, McDaniel Dormitory, commonly referred to as Techwood Dorm. It was run by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s the area was synonymous with urban blight in Atlanta. Techwood Homes was built on land cleared by demolishing the Flats, a low-income integrated neighborhood adjacent to downtown that had included 1600 families, nearly one-third of whom were African American. The Public Works Administration remade the neighborhood with 604 units for white families only. The neighboring Clark Howell Homes was built in 1941 in a less institutional style. A. Ten Eyck Brown was the architect. Clark Howell was reserved for whites only until 1968, with an all-black counterpart at the University Homes project (built 1938) near Atlanta University Center. Except for a few historic buildings, Techwood Homes was demolished in 1996 before the 1996 Summer Olympics. It and neighboring Clark Howell Homes are now a mixed-use area called Centennial Place. The first phase opened in 1996 just before the Centennial Olympics, hence the new name. Former residents were relocated to other areas, and given Section 8 vouchers to pay part of the rent. Many moved back into Centennial Place, though it had far fewer subsidized units than Techwood Homes.

  • Demolished public housing projects in Atlanta


    In 1994 the Atlanta Housing Authority, encouraged by the federal HOPE VI program, embarked on a policy created for the purpose of comprehensive revitalization of severely distressed public housing developments. These distressed public housing properties were replaced by mixed-income communities.

  • Atlanta Housing Authority


    The Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) provides affordable housing for low-income families in Atlanta. Today, the AHA is the largest housing agency in Georgia and one of the largest in the United States, serving approximately 50,000 people. The AHA was founded in 1938, taking over from the Public Works Administration (PWA). Due to the lobbying of Charles Palmer, an Atlantan real estate developer, Atlanta had been the site of the first public housing project in the country in 1936, Techwood Homes. Early public housing projects such as Techwood and its sister project, University Homes, were built for working class families on the sites of former slums. Charles Palmer became the AHA's first chairperson, and under him and his successors, the agency continued to clear slums and build public housing complexes. The first phase of construction lasted from 1938-1941, and was financed with funds from the Wagner-Steagall Act. The second phase was from 1951-1956, using grants funded by the Housing Act of 1949. The final phase took place from 1962-1973, with only a few smaller projects completed after that date.

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