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Gonzales Gardens Redevelopment Update - Virtual Community Meeting


Please join Columbia Housing at 4:00 pm on Monday, June 22, 2020, in a virtual community conversation on the development plans for the Oaks at St. Anna's Park. The Oaks at St. Anna's Park, a new planned community to be developed on the site of the former Gonzales Gardens public housing community.

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Click Here to JOIN on Zoom

Call in: 1-646-558-8656 Meeting ID: 994 4979 7561

Click Here to JOIN on Facebook LIVE

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History of Gonzales Gardens

On June 12, 1939, Chairman W.S. Hendley announced that the first of the two projects would be named after the Gonzales Brothers, and would be located on Forest Drive, across from Providence Hospital. The property on Forest Drive was bought by Columbia Housing on June 17, 1939, and included 23 acres of land that would suit 200 to 250 units of low-income housing. Construction of the new project began in late November 1939, and the final plan included 236 dwelling units at a cost of approximately $1 million dollars. A firm out of Charlotte, North Carolina, V. P Loftis, was the low bidder on the construction contract for Gonzales Gardens.

Gonzales Gardens was opened for occupancy on September 16, 1940, and it was completely filled within 15 days. One hundred of the new apartments were made available to non-commissioned officers families stationed at Fort Jackson. The remainder of the apartments housed civilian families in the low-income bracket, according to federal law governing income levels.

The project was owned and operated by the Columbia Housing and originally consisted of 236 units. Only white families were permitted to live at Gonzales. Rents originally ranged from $7.65 to $16.75 per month and included electricity, gas, and water.

It was at Gonzales Gardens that the Columbia Housing first adopted the system of graded rents, making it one of the first housing authorities in the country to do so. Graded rents refer to the adjusting of the monthly rental amount according to the family's income.

In May of 1942, 44 additional units were constructed at Gonzales Gardens, bringing the total to 280 where it stands today.

Gonzales Gardens was built under the same loan contract as Allen-Benedict Court, and both projects together cost $1,800,000. Allen-Benedict Court consists of 244 dwelling units and was originally developed to house only African Americans. It was also owned and operated by the Columbia Housing and featured graded rents

Gonzales Gardens was named after the Gonzales Brothers, William Elliott (1866-1937)Ambrose Elliott (1857-1926) and Narciso Gener (1858-1903)

Please click Gonzales Gardens to read additional information on the history and redevelopment plans. 

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