Roosevelt Hall

Spring 2021

“roosevelt hall”

Isabelle Williams

Roosevelt Hall is the first federally funded Public Housing project for African Americans in the United States, originally constructed in 1934, and land originally owned by Creek Indian Territories. It is last standing piece of University Homes, a New Deal and Public Works Administration project during the Great Depression. Opening in 1937, Roosevelt Hall was a staple to Black community, housing the leasing office for the neighborhood, community center, and various small Black businesses. Referencing the adjacent HBCUs, Spellman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University, Roosevelt Hall was characterized by its International Style, and served as off-campus apartment for students. Its program and style would later inform later buildings erected on AUCC School campuses.

Currently, the hall is undergoing renovation, bound for adaptive reuse,
returning to its original program of mixing business, creating spaces office
spaces for the Atlanta Housing Neighborhoods team, with housing for
Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) Schools. As a National Historic Site, the construction is carefully planned to maintain authentic components, including structural system for the walls, ornament decorating, store fronts, and the original brick. Working on the project is MWBE general contractor, FS360, and architecture group, Moody Nolan.

Renovating Roosevelt Hall by a minority owned general contractor to adapt the built environment for a predominantly BIPOC community is a celebration of its conception and part it has played in AUCC Schools. Roosevelt Hall runs in conjunction with the newly renovated RCIE (Russell Center for Innovation and Enterprise), the largest business generator for Atlanta’s Black Entrepreneurs, located one block away. 

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