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Atlanta Housing Authority Photographs

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Atlanta Housing Authority photographs, circa 1940 (VIS 96)
The New Deal inaugurated the first urban public housing developments in Atlanta.  In 1934, land was cleared to build Techwood Homes near the campus of Georgia Tech University and University Homes close to Atlanta University and Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman Colleges.  The Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) was established in 1938 to eliminate the city’s substandard housing. Johns R. Hope Homes, State Capital Homes, Alonzo F. Herndon Homes, Henry Grady Homes, Clark Howell Homes and John J. Eagan Homes were the six slum clearance and re-housing developments proposed.  The Atlanta Housing Authority is organized under Georgia law to develop, acquire, lease and operate affordable housing for low-income families. Today, AHA is the largest housing agency in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation.

This collection contains images of substandard housing areas to be cleared for the Capitol, Hope, Grady and Herndon Housing Projects. It also contains images of the Aux Coal Storage Bins and a civil defense unit based at Techwood Homes. The collection features street scenes in poverty stricken areas of the city and include images of African American men, women, and children.  The images in this collection were created to document living conditions in these areas prior to their demolition. The captions created by Atlanta Housing Authority staff, and reflected in the catalog records, are written on the back side of each photographic print.

The Atlanta Housing Authority photographs contain 146 black and white photographic prints, 140 of which are digitized and available on this database. To view the rest of the images, please visit the Kenan Research Center.

The Kenan Research Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday. You may contact us by calling 404.814.4040 or emailing at

Digitization of this collection is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.