Smithfield CourtC.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).
“Smithfield Court is a low-rental housing developmenterected in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, fully financed with P.W.A. funds. A site of 22 acres on which were located some of the city’s worst slum dwellings, was purchased at a cost of $458,600 or 48 cents a square foot. After demolition of the dilapidated dwellings, a group of fireproof structures was erected covering 27 percent of the land area and accommodating an average of 58 rooms to the acre. The development consists of a series of 1- and 2-story row houses and includes a community building. It provides 1,638 rooms divided into 540 family-dwelling units of which 34 percent are 2-room, 48 percent 3-room, 11 percent 4-room, and 7 percent 5-room units.
The monthly shelter rent, which includes water only, is computed on the basis of an average of $4.36 per room. The actual rent averages $4.84 a room per month and includes electricity for light and refrigeration. Tenants first occupied the premises on February 16, 1938. The structures have a volume of 4,430,000 cubic feet. The cost of construction was approximately 40 cents a cubic foot, or a total of $1,786,648. The average room cost was $1,091 and $3,309 for each family-dwelling unit. The entire development cost was $2,415,000 including land, construction, and miscellaneous items. This is equivalent to an average total cost per room of $1,474 and of $4,472 a family-dwelling unit.”
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