Rosedale Court

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Rosedale Court or the Rosedale Court & Annex is a 188-unit public housing project located on 20-acres along 10th Avenue in Tuscaloosa. The site is bounded by 11th Avenue to the west, 29th Street to the south, 10th Avenue to the east and 26th Street to the north. The project is owned and operated by the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority (THA) and is also the location of the central offices for the authority. Completed originally in 1952, Rosedale Court was severely damaged during the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado on April 27, 2011, with nearly the entire complex being destroyed.


Rosedale Court was constructed as the first public housing project in Tuscaloosa. In July 1950, the newly created THA received approval from the federal government for the construction of 500 total public housing units in the city. The announcement was made by way of telegram from representative Edward deGraffenried and Senators Lister Hill and John Sparkman. In April 1951, the THA announced construction for what would be known as Rosedale Court would commence in July 1951. As segregation was commonplace throughout the South during this time, the 160 units were proposed for use by only white families. The later constructed McKenzie Courts were proposed for use by only black families. The units were to be in one-story buildings with concrete floors and brick facades. Included were 26 one bedroom units, 80 two bedroom, 48 three bedroom and six four bedroom units in the $1,057,000 complex. The complex was complete by summer 1952, with the formal dedication occurring on July 13, 1952. By 1967, an additional 29 units, specifically for elderly residents, was completed. In May 1971 a $1,600,000 project to modernize both Rosedale and McKenzie Courts began.

As the complex was well of fifty years old, and with a shift in how public housing was to be constructed, by the 2000s the THA began to seek Hope VI funding to reconstruct Rosedale. In 2006, the THA applied for a $20 million grant from the federal government to demolish and completely reconstruct Rosedale. Failing to receive funding the first time, in 2008 THA again applied for federal funding to rebuild the complex. The rebuilt complex was envisioned to include 250-275 units, 50 single-family homes for first time buyers and a new community center.

2011 tornado

Damage from the 2011 tornado. Photo by Dusty Compton, AP

On April 27, 2011, much of the complex was either destroyed or severely damaged as a result of the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado. The entire southern portion was effectively destroyed. As of April 28 three people lost their lives with another 30 injured at the complex as a result of the storm.


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