Atlanta Housing (AH), in partnership with Choice Neighborhoods and the City of Atlanta, announced the completion of a transformative $12 million renovation project for Roosevelt Hall. The grand reopening marks a remarkable milestone in the ongoing efforts to revitalize Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods.
“The revitalized Roosevelt Hall will stand once again as a vibrant gathering place, positioned to benefit Choice Neighborhoods residents and foster connections with the neighboring Atlanta University Center,” said Eugene E. Jones, Jr. president and CEO of Atlanta Housing in a statement. “This visionary project embodies the spirit of progress, inclusivity, and preservation of heritage.”
In honor of its enduring legacy and to commemorate a new chapter in Atlanta’s history, the celebration, which took place onsite at 660 Atlanta Student Movement Blvd. in Atlanta, included recognition of former University Homes residents and featured keynotes from the AH president; Courtney English, Chief Policy Officer and Senior Advisor to the Mayor of the City of Atlanta; and AH Commissioner Rosalind Elliott. The afternoon festivities concluded with a guided tour of the property that offer insights into this monumental project.
Built in 1937, Roosevelt Hall was the central hub of University Homes, the first federally funded public housing project built in the United States for African Americans. Attracting business and civic activity, Roosevelt served as the community center and featured amenities such as a laundromat, library, beauty salon and barbershop. Commissioner Elliott, who grew up in the adjacent John Hopes Homes–built for African Americans in 1941–recalled Roosevelt with fondness. “It was a special place for all of us who lived in University and John Hope Homes,” she expressed. “Yates and Milton Drugstore was downstairs in the corner. That’s where we got prescriptions filled and my momma bought ribbons for my hair. I also had my birthday parties upstairs in the community room.”
The renovation boasts an array of modern amenities and community-centric spaces. Residents and visitors will have access to a state-of-the-art library, cutting-edge technology center, two history walls, an urban garden, versatile community spaces, special events venues, including a scenic rooftop, and a retail area. This comprehensive redesign ensures that Roosevelt becomes a versatile and dynamic centerpiece for the community, fostering educational opportunities, cultural enrichment and social engagement.