In its latest virtual online exhibition, “Bowen Homes Was Home”, Atlanta Housing highlights the personal stories, documents, and photographs that showcase the history of Bowen Homes. The exhibition, which is available for public viewing, includes the oral history of Fred A. (Tony) Parker III, former resident of Bowen Homes and retired director of records and information management for Atlanta Housing. The comprehensive collection highlights the community’s legacy in Northwest Atlanta and its place in Atlanta’s history as the last public housing project in the City.
Bowen Homes was built as part of the Low Rent Housing Program and was completed in 1964. The community was named after John W.E. Bowen, Sr., one of the first African Americans to earn a Ph.D. in the United States. The residential community was comprised of 650 units and included an early education facility and library.
Today, a bold and exciting future awaits the 74-acre site. In December 2022, HUD awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to Atlanta Housing to create a Neighborhood Transformation Plan (NTP) for the revitalization of the former Bowen Homes and Brookview Heights neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Transformation Plan includes more than 2,000 rental and ownership units; several acres of improved greenspace; a green storm water management system; preservation of the natural environment, and an improved street network supporting a mixed-income development with retail and community amenities. The concept plan builds on ideas expressed by the former Bowen Homes residents and community, to address environmental and natural assets of the site. This January, Atlanta Housing and the City of Atlanta formally applied to the HUD seeking $40 million from a Choice Neighborhoods (CN) Implementation Grant to enact these innovative plans.
The exhibition, led by senior archivist Meredith Mitchem, was the collaborative effort of a number of Atlanta Housing departments. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the teams of Information Technology, Real Estate, Communications, and the Office of General Counsel for their invaluable contributions, including meticulous reviews and insightful edits, which have helped to bring this project to fruition,” said Mitchem.
Visit HERE to access the Atlanta Housing “Bowen Homes Was Home” Virtual Exhibit.