Apache Courts – San Antonio TX

City:
San Antonio, TX

Site Type:
Civic Facilities, Public Housing

New Deal Agencies:
Housing Programs, US Housing Authority (USHA)

Started:
1939

Completed:
1942

Designers:
Gordon M. Smith, N. Straus Nayfach

Contractor:
Walsh & Burney Company

Quality of Information:
Very Good

Marked:
Yes

Site Survival:
Extant

Description

San Antonio’s Board of Commissioners created the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) on June 17, 1937. On September 1, 1937, President Roosevelt signed the United States Housing Act of 1937. This created the United States Housing Authority (USHA) and provided $500 million for subsidies to be paid from the U.S. government to local public housing agencies (LHAs) like SAHA to improve living conditions for low-income families.

SAHA made applications to the USHA for funds and the USHA agreed to provide financing for five projects; Alazan Courts, Apache Courts, Lincoln Heights Courts, Wheatley Courts and Victoria Courts. San Antonio enforced segregation in the projects; Alazan and Apache Courts were built for Mexican Americans, Lincoln Heights and Wheatley Courts for African Americans and Victoria Courts for whites. The federal government loaned 90 percent of the necessary funding, while the required 10 percent local contribution was raised through a bond drive. All debts were repaid over the next 60 years though rents.

Construction began on the projects in 1939, and Apache Courts was completed in 1942. Apache Courts was built adjacent to the larger Alazan Courts, and the two projects share similar architecture and a common management office. They are generally referred to as Alazan-Apache Courts.

Alazan, Apache and Lincoln Heights still exist as built and are in operation. SAHA demolished Victoria Courts in 2000 and rebuilt a mixed use community of low income housing, market rate apartments and townhomes. SAHA demolished Wheatley Courts in early 2015 and opened the rebuilt complex in 2016. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 legally ended segregation in housing. All SAHA housing projects are now integrated.

Source notes

Donald L. Zelman, "Alazan-Apache Courts," The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. (Texas State Historical Association), accessed December 10, 2015. Plaque on building https://www.sacurrent.com https://www.expressnews.com

Site originally submitted by Larry Moore on December 11, 2015.

Location Info


1011 S Brazos St
San Antonio, TX 78207

Location notes: Near Downtown San Antonio

Coordinates: 29.4168659, -98.514986

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