Atlantic City Housing Authority Records Collection - Stanley Holmes Village
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.
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 dollars 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.