A Guide to the

Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority Photographs, 1960-1987

SC 0235

Compiled by: Dillon Thomas, October 2016

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority Photographs, 1960-1987

Collection No.: SC 0235
Creator: Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority

Extent: 2 Hollinger boxes, 1 half-Hollinger box; .86 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority Photographs, consisting of two Hollinger boxes and one half-Hollinger box (.86 cubic feet), are comprised of photographs used by the Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority in their urban renewal programs. The bulk of the photographs capture buildings targeted for urban renewal in downtown and residential Harrisonburg, Virginia in the 1960s and 1980s.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority Photographs, 1960-1987, SC 0235, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Donated by Michael Wong, Executive Director of the Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority, on behalf of HRHA on September 22, 2013.
Processing Information: In preparation for possible future rusting and failure of the fasteners, all photographs from the R16 Urban Renewal Project photo album were removed and foldered numerically according to their assigned number. The photo album is foldered and housed separately in a half-Hollinger box. Photograph #29 from this photo album was mended in order to reattach the upper right corner that had become detached.

Administrative History:

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (HRHA) was founded in November 1955 to combat urban dilapidation and to ensure a revived urban zone within Harrisonburg along with affordable housing for residents. It still operates today within the city of Harrisonburg with its original mission statement: “To promote adequate and affordable housing economic opportunity and a suitable living environment free from discrimination; and to foster redevelopment of blighted areas to ensure the economic, social and housing vitality of our community.”

These photos, dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, were taken as part of the R4 and R16 programs and show areas believed to be in need of urban renewal. R4 refers to the zoning district that was administered by the City of Harrisonburg. According to the City of Harrisonburg, the R4 designation denotes a planned unit residential district zone and is mainly an indicator of planned communities of affordable subsidized government housing with various requirements and standards.

The photographs of the Franklin and Harrison Heights neighborhood developments were the first projects by the R4 Commission and the HRHA as a whole. Franklin Heights, located on Lincoln Circle and Kelley, Hill, E. Johnson, Broad, E. Gay, Myrtle, and Sterling Streets, was constructed on a former Harrisonburg landfill. Harrison Heights is located on Myers Avenue and E. Bruce, Norwood, and Reservoir Streets. Both developments were made available to lower income families and subsidized by the city of Harrisonburg.

The R4 and R16 programs revived the urban areas of Harrisonburg, but had a social cost of dispersing and displacing the previous residents of areas they affected. These affected neighborhoods were largely integrated prior to the R4 and R16 urban renewal efforts. However, the resulting displacement of residents reinforced racial separation within the city.

Scope and Content:

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority Photographs, 1960-1987, consist of two Hollinger boxes and 1 half-Hollinger box (.86 cubic feet). The collection consists primarily of photographs, and also include several photocopies and also include a photo album. All of the photographs are black-and-white, ranging in size from 3 ½ x 5 inches to 8 x 10 inches. The photos are in fairly good condition with the exception of some folds, minor tears, and holes in corners from staples. 

The photographs mainly document areas that the Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority was considering for urban renewal. The photos often depict areas of downtown and residential Harrisonburg that are dilapidated, vacant, or deemed unappealing.

Four folders of photographs document the construction of Franklin Heights and Harrison Heights, planned communities of subsidized housing spearheaded by the HRHA in 1960-1961 located on Kelley Street, Lincoln Circle, East Bruce, Hill, Broad, East Gay, Myrtle, Sterling, Norwood, East Johnson, Reservoir Street, and Myers Avenue. The photographs show the various phases of construction and are labeled based on the area within the community and the housing units that are depicted. They are organized numerically by the numbered labels affixed to or printed on the photographs. The researcher should note that there are gaps in the numbers indicating missing photographs. “Allen Litten Photo” is stamped on the verso of each photograph. It is presumed that HRHA commissioned Allen Litten, a local photographer, to take the photographs.

A portion of the photographs, 96 in total, were originally compiled in a photo album titled “PHOTOS URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT VA. R-16 APRIL 5, 1962.” The photographs were originally stapled to the album pages, but were removed in preparation for possible future rusting and failure of the fasteners. The photo album is foldered and boxed separately from the photographs. These photographs, all measuring 8 x 10 inches and dating to 1962, show the houses and buildings targeted for renewal with the R16 program. The photographs are numbered based upon the structure they depict. Each structure was photographed from at least two different angles – primarily a front and back view. There are some gaps within the numbering system, with buildings 27, 28, 39, and 50 not included in the collection at all. Additional unnumbered photographs include various depictions of seemingly unrelated subjects. One depicts a facsimile of a much older photograph, likely from the early twentieth century.

The collection also includes a set of 287 3 ½ x 5 inch photos taken in 1982 by Ann McCleary. These photographs show houses and businesses in downtown and residential Harrisonburg on a block-by-block basis, with each block separated into one envelope. Each of the envelopes (refoldered into 26 folders) has its own file number used by the HRHA. The numbers begin at 115-27 and end with 115-55. File No. 115-28, 115-29, and 115-53 are not included in the collection. Three of the 20 photographs from File No. 115-45 were not included in the donation; only 17 are present.

One folder contains photocopies of undated photographs while another single folder contains miscellaneous photographs that are unlabeled and of assorted sizes of Harrisonburg ranging from 1960-1987.

Arrangement:
The collection is arranged chronologically with the exception of the photo album which has been placed at the end of the collection in Box 3.

Bibliography:
“Franklin Heights Renovation Completed.” Hburgnews.com. Accessed October 12, 2016. http://hburgnews.com/2010/06/18/franklin-heights-renovation-completed/.

"Zoning Information." City of Harrisonburg, VA. 2016. Accessed October 12, 2016. https://www.harrisonburgva.gov/zoning/.

Related Material:
Robert James Sullivan Jr. Papers, 1930-2013, SC 0003, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Contents:

Folder Title Box : Folder
Franklin Heights and Harrison Heights Photographs, 1960-1961 (Folder 1 of 4) 1:1
Franklin Heights and Harrison Heights Photographs, 1960-1961 (Folder 2 of 4) 1:2
Franklin Heights and Harrison Heights Photographs, 1960-1961 (Folder 3 of 4) 1:3
Franklin Heights and Harrison Heights Photographs, 1960-1961 (Folder 4 of 4) 1:4
Miscellaneous Harrisonburg Photographs, 1960-1987 1:5
Photocopies, 1960s-1980s 1:6
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 1-5, 1962 1:7
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 6-10, 1962 1:8
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 11-15, 1962 1:9
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 16-20, 1962 1:10
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 21-25, 1962 1:11
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 26-30, 1962 1:12
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 31-35, 1962 1:13
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 36-40, 1962 1:14
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 41-45, 1962 1:15
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 46-49, 1962 1:16
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Photographs 51-55, 1962 1:17
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, Unnumbered Photographs, 1961-1964 1:18
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-27, 1982 2:1
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-30, 1982 2:2
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-31, 1982 2:3
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-32, 1982 2:4
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-33, 1982 2:5
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-34, 1982 2:6
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-35, 1982 2:7
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-36, 1982 2:8
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-37, 1982 2:9
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-38, 1982 2:10
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-39, 1982 2:11
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-40, 1982 2:12
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-41, 1982 2:13
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-42, 1982 2:14
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-43, 1982 2:15
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-44, 1982 2:16
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-45, 1982 2:17
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-46, 1982 2:18
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-47, 1982 2:19
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-48, 1982 2:20
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-49, 1982 2:21
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-50, 1982 2:22
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-51, 1982 2:23
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-52, 1982 2:24
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-54, 1982 2:25
Ann McCleary Photographs, File No. 115-55, 1982 2:26
Urban Renewal Project Photo Album, 1962 3:1