Smithfield Court Housing Development – Birmingham AL


“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.”

P.W.A. Docket No. H-2902

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

C.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).

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

150 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Blvd,
Birmingham, AL 35204

Coordinates: 33.514296, -86.833725

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