Allenton Heights, Jackson TN

Allenton Heights 2

Allenton Heights was one of two public housing projects erected in Jackson, Tennessee following the expansion of PWA public housing and the creation of the U. S. Housing Authority.  The 100 unit site was located on landscaped lots on 13 acres, with a good deal of open green space.  The units contained a front yard (larger in the interior facing units) and back yard with clotheslines.  The clotheslines are still present, and on this sunny August day, filled with drying clothes.

Interior courtyardAllenton Heights was the facility constructed for whites, while Merry Lane Court was constructed for black residents.  Although the federal government forbade discrimination, the South still demanded segregation and achieved it, accommodated by the federal programs as a ‘compromise.’

Following clearance of dilapidated housing, the construction began in a staggered process for Allenton Heights and Merry Lane Court.  Construction was headed by Algernon Blair Company and the superintendent projected the estimated employment of 150 on both units.  Allenton Heights was projected to cost $350,000, with 4 additional units more than Merry Lane Court, plus the greater land area and size.  The site remains as part of the Jackson Housing Authority and is currently in use.  Merry Lane Court (cost of $325,000) was demolished following damage by a tornado in 2003.

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1 Response to Allenton Heights, Jackson TN

  1. I have seen brick public housing units like this in New Orleans, Jackson, and other southern cities. Most look more dilapidated than the examples in your pictures.

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