Rosewood Courts’ original site plan, along a terraced hillside in East Austin, included many outdoor spaces for socializing.
Like many American cities at the time, Austin, Texas, in the 1930s was a racially segregated place -- including with its public housing. During the years leading up to World War II, the city’s housing authority (one of the oldest in the nation) built three low-income housing communities in the East Austin neighborhood, each reserved for a single race until desegregation in the 1960s.
Santa Rita Courts, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated to Hispanic and Latino residents, while Chalmers Courts was for whites only. And Rosewood Courts, a community that may eventually join Santa Rita Courts on the National Register, was built specifically for African-Americans. Rosewood’s complex and layered history, along with its location in rapidly gentrifying East Austin, make its future a subject of intense interest to Austin preservationists.... Read More →
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Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.