Atlantic City Housing Authority Records Collection


Title: Atlantic City Housing Authority Records Collection           
Date: 1930s – 2008
Collection Number: H022

Extent: 2.5 cu. ft.                                                    

Repository: Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library, 1 North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 345-2269.

Preferred Citation: Atlantic City Housing Authority Scrapbooks Collection, Alfred M. Heston Collection, Atlantic City Free Public Library.

Creator: Atlantic City Housing Authority (1938 - present)                                                                                     

Dedication Ceremony for the opening of Stanley Holmes Village. (1937, H022.ACHA.019) Alfred M. Heston Collection

 Administrative History:
Atlantic City was the first municipality in New Jersey to provide public housing to its constituents. The movement to establish public housing was initiated in 1933 with the organization of the Civic Committee for Better Housing – headed by Walter J. Buzby; Mrs. Warren Somers, Commissioner of the State Housing Authority; Naomi Craighead; Robert A. Watson, Manager of the Southern Division of the State Housing Authority; B.J. Dudnick, State Housing Authority; and Timothy J. Kelly. The Civic Committee for Better Housing produced a social and economic study of housing in the City, and enlisted the support of the Atlantic City Real Estate Board and the Chamber of Commerce to further its platform. The Civic Committee for Better Housing was successful in championing its cause; in October of 1934, a site bounded by Adriatic, Baltic, Kentucky and Illinois Avenues was identified for the creation of Atlantic City’s first public housing complex. In April of 1935, Mayor Harry Bacharach condemned the buildings that existed on the proposed site. The thirteen property owners were each paid $246,250 and the one hundred and sixty families living on the site were relocated to other residences. The architects J. Vaughn Mathis, Herman Turon and Vivian Smith were hired to develop the city’s first public housing buildings – Stanley Holmes Village. In November of 1935, the city held ceremonies, attended by Governor Harold Hoffman with principal speeches by Mayor Charles D. White, to commemorate the demolition of the dilapidated buildings that once stood between Adriatic, Baltic, Kentucky and Illinois Avenues. Foundations for Stanley Holmes Village were laid in March of 1936, and – at that time – 339 individuals applied for residency. On April 16, 1937 the first tenants moved into their homes. In 1937, Stanley Holmes Village consisted of sixteen, two- and three-story brick buildings grouped around two landscaped areas that formed eight quadrangles. In 1951, an extension built an additional fourteen buildings.

In 1937, the United States Housing Act, also known as the Wagner-Steagall bill, was passed and the United States Housing Authority (USHA) was formed.  The Civic Committee for Better Housing was appointed as the Atlantic City Housing Authority (ACHA), under the jurisdiction of the USHA, in 1938.  Walter Buzby was named its Chairman.

In October of 1938, ACHA received earmarking funds for a second public housing project. This project was relegated to low income, white families only. It was approved by President Roosevelt in October of 1939 and was named Jonathan Pitney Village. Groundbreaking for Jonathan Pitney Village took place on April 10, 1940, and by April 1, 1941 the first families had moved into residences there. Jonathan Pitney Village was designed by Howard Stout and J. Vaughn Mathis and housed 333 families in twenty-eight, two-story buildings. The complex was bounded by Missouri, Fairmount, Mississippi, Mediterranean and Georgia Avenues. Jonathan Pitney Village was demolished in 1998.

ACHA has experienced continual growth since its first housing projects including the construction of Buzby Village (1951); Altman Terrace (1971); Shore Park (1971); and Jeffries Towers (1983). The organization has also been involved with the creation of the John P. Whittington senior assisted living facility, and – amongst other historical redevelopments – the Northeast Inlet redevelopment and the Uptown Urban Renewal project.  Additionally, it has been instrumental with helping individuals become first-time homeowners through programs such as Section 32 and HOPE IV.

Suss, Irvin, Atlantic City and Public Housing: Housing Authority of the City of Atlantic City (New Jersey: Writers’ Project, Work Projects Administration, 1941).


Scope and Content: This collection is comprised of materials that document the Atlantic City Housing Authority’s programs, specifically its earliest developments: Stanley Holmes Village, Jonathan Pitney Village and Buzby Village.

The collection’s photographs, construction records and publications (other than the Annual Reports) were found by ACHA when Jonathan Pitney Village was demolished. They were donated to the Atlantic City Free Public Library in March of 2011. The Annual Reports were not published every year and ACHA ceased publication of these documents in 2008. It should be noted that the Annual Reports available in this collection do not represent a comprehensive assemblage of the reports.

The photographs in the collection are largely representative of Stanley Holmes Village, including images of its construction, groundbreaking and cornerstone laying ceremonies, and images of Stanley Holmes’ first tenants moving into their new homes. The first fifty-four images have a corresponding index of descriptions created by ACHA. A number of the photos (H022.ACHA055L through H022.ACHA291G) were originally displayed in two albums. Photos with the suffix “L” come from an album of landscaping photographs, and photos with the suffix “G” come from an album of general construction photographs. Photographs from the landscaping album were delivered to the Atlantic City Free Public Library already separated from their album. The general construction album was disassembled by the Atlantic City Free Public Library for preservation purposes. Two photographs, H022.ACHA292 and H022.ACHA293, are of Jonathan Pitney Village.

The four clippings scrapbooks are comprised of newspaper articles from the 1930s through the 1960s. They were deposited with the Atlantic City Free Public Library in 1997. These scrapbooks are extremely fragile and the original books are restricted from use. Heston Room staff may assist in obtaining information contained within these scrapbooks. A number of the articles in the clippings scrapbooks are also available via the Press of Atlantic City microfilm.

System of Arrangement:
The collection is arranged according to the following series:

•    Series 1: Administrative Records
•    Series 2: Publications
•    Series 3: Photographs
•    Series 4: Construction Records
•    Series 5: Clippings Scrapbooks


Access Points:
Public housing – New Jersey – Atlantic City
Housing Authorities – New Jersey – Atlantic City
Atlantic City Housing Authority
Photographs – New Jersey – Atlantic City
Scrapbooks – New Jersey – Atlantic City
United States. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Related Materials:
A.J. Wood Corporation, A Survey Among Property Owners and Residents in the North Inlet Area (Philadelphia, PA: The Corporation, 1981).

Economic Research Associates, An Analysis of the Impact of Casino Gambling on the Housing Needs of the Atlantic City Market Area (McLean, VA: Economic Research Associates, 1977).

Johnson, Nelson, The Northside: African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City (Medford, NJ: Plexus Publishers, 2010).

Peter P. Karabashian Associates, Inc, Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) for the City of Atlantic City, NJ (Atlantic City, NJ: Peter P. Karabashian Assoc., Inc., 1993).

Silver & Renzi Reporting Service, Housing Obligation of Atlantic City Casinos (Trenton, NJ: Silver & Renzi Reporting Service, 1981).

ZHA Incorporated, Redevelopment Plan: Northeast Inlet, Atlantic City, New Jersey (Annapolis, MD: ZHA Incorporated, 1987).

Press of Atlantic City microfilm

Vertical Subject Files:
Housing Authority

Processing Note: The collection is processed. Finding aid written by Shannon O’Neill, archivist, March 2011.

Copyright Notice: While the Atlantic City Free Public Library owns the collection, the Library may not own the copyright for all of the items. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.

Series 1: Administrative Records
Box 1, Folder 1   WPA Writer’s Project Atlantic City Public Housing Report; Clippings and Articles

Box 1, Folder 2   Credit Posting Tickets, Charge Adjustment Tickets and Receipt
44  items

Series 2: Publications
Box 1, Folder 2   Annual Reports: 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1998, 2001 – 2003, 2007, 2008

Box 1, Folder 3   RFP for Development, 1991

Box 1, Folder 4   Revitalization Grant Application

Series 3: Photographs
Box 1, Folder 5   Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA001 – H022.ACHA054
54 images

Box 1, Folder 6   Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA055 – H022.ACHA083
28 images

Box 1, Folder 7    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA084L – H022.ACHA111L
27 images

Box 2, Folder 1    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA112L – H022.ACHA147L
35 images

Box 2, Folder 2    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA148L – H022.ACHA181L
33 images

Box 2, Folder 3    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA182G – H022.ACHA216G
34 images

Box 2, Folder 4    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA217G – H022.ACHA258G
41 images

Box 2, Folder 5    Stanley Holmes Village H022.ACHA259G – H022.ACHA291G
41 images             Jonathan Pitney Village H022.ACHA292 – H022.ACHA293

Box 2, Folder 6    United States Housing Authority – Various National Projects
10 images

Series 4: Construction Records
Box 3, Folder 1    Stanley Holmes Construction Logs, 1952
Box 3, Folder 2    Stanley Holmes Construction Logs, 1952
Box 3, Folder 3    Engineering Blueprints: Stanley Holmes Village 1937, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1969
Box 3, Folder 4    Piping Engineering Specs: Stanley Holmes Village 1956, 1957
Box 3, Folder 5    Landscaping Specs: Stanley Holmes Village, 1952; Restoration Specs: Buzby Village, 1955
Box 4, Folder 1   Bid and Contract Forms and Specs for Construction, Demolition, Landscaping, Structural, Heating, Plumbing and Electrical: Stanley Holmes Village Expansion Project, 1950
Box 4, Folder 2    Invitation for Bids, Construction Specs: Stanley Holmes Village Expansion Project, 1952
Box 4, Folder 3    Alteration to Buildings 1-22 Specs: Buzby Village, 1963; Heating Specs – Buzby Village, 1952
Box 4, Folder 4    Trash Housing Specs: Stanley Holmes Village, 1963; Boilers Specs: Stanley Holmes Village, 1962

Series 5: Clippings Scrapbooks
Box 5   Clippings Scrapbooks (2)
Note: Due to their fragile natures these items are restricted from consultation. Duplications of materials may be provided with advance notice to Heston Room staff. Formerly housed as Box 20.

Box 6   Clippings Scrapbooks (2)
Note: Due to their fragile natures these items are restricted from consultation. Duplications of materials may be provided with advance notice to Heston Room staff. Formerly housed as Box 21.