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Urban Renewal Projects Records

Identifier: MS090

  • Staff Only


The Urban Renewal Projects Records document Georgia Tech Urban Renewal Project R-85 and Urban Renewal Project R-111, the combination of which substantially increased the size of Georgia Tech's campus. The records include correspondence, memoranda, inventory forms, ledgers, and project maps.


  • 1941-1974 (bulk 1968-1974)
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1974


General Physical Description note

(six document cases and Oversize)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


4.4 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Georgia Tech Urban Renewal Projects Records include historical information, correspondence, land records, working papers, inventory forms, and plant funds, with the majority of the records falling into the latter two categories. The historical information comprises a mixture of documents, including timelines and narrative histories, but consists primarily of correspondence and memoranda, which provide an overview of the projects' backgrounds. The correspondence contained there and with the other correspondence is primarily between Georgia Tech Presidents Edwin Harrison and Arthur Hansen, the Board of Regents, and representatives of Atlanta's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The inventory forms, arranged by block and plot number, include information such as acreage, land lot and district number, and value of the land and improvements. The initial inventory form contains summary information from the deed books, and also gives the book and page numbers from which the information was gathered. The inventory forms document property already owned by Tech as well as property to be acquired. The forms are generally dated 1970, the date the information was gathered. The dates for the actual deeds vary widely.

The plant funds, also rather voluminous, are numerous reconciliation sheets showing the transfer of funds from one general ledger account to another in order to allow the purchase of property. Miscellaneous materials include many unidentifiable general ledger sheets.

The oversized materials include plat maps for the redevelopment areas (1966-1968) and a construction cost breakdown (1973), which has suffered some water damage.

With the exception of a few letters requesting special concessions to property owners, lacking in these records is evidence of the impact of the urban renewal projects on residents, as well as documentation of students' increase in community involvement that resulted both from the projects and the times during which they occurred.

Administrative History of Urban Renewal Projects Records

As a result of two urban renewal projects from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Georgia Tech's campus increased in size from 153 to 255 acres, primarily west of Hemphill Avenue. New construction on the expanded campus included new homes for the Schools of Chemistry, Physics, and Civil Engineering; new dormitories; and buildings for the Engineering Experiment Station and Student Center. At the same time, both the library and computer center were expanded significantly.

The Georgia Tech Urban Renewal Projects originated with the proposed campus plan by Wylly Keck Engineering in 1962. In 1963, Tech hired a campus architect to assist with urban renewal and campus planning, and met with local and federal officials to establish the feasibility of the project. Both the Board of Regents (BOR) and the Atlanta Board of Aldermen adopted resolutions permitting Georgia Tech to proceed with its urban renewal planning in June 1963. Georgia Tech hired the planning firm of Perkins and Will in 1964 to help prepare the long-range campus plan. The long-range plan was approved by the BOR and City of Atlanta in 1965. That same year, the Housing and Home Finance Agency approved the project submission and advanced federal funds, while the BOR authorized payment of $271,297 to the government as part of the local share in renewal projects costs. Georgia Tech Urban Redevelopment Project Number GA R-85 was the first project that began in January 1966 when the Atlanta Housing Authority commenced acquisition and clearance of project lands.

Urban Renewal Project R-111, was to acquire thirty acres lost from the first renewal project to provide space for housing and dormitories. The property needed to establish the Tech Parkway was also included. The Aldermanic council approved the submission of the application to the federal government for a planning grant for this project in 1966.

Unlike the Techwood project, the two urban renewal projects affected land heavily populated by low income residences, with extensive community networks of churches and businesses. The administration met with individual property owners to diffuse possible resentment. At the same time, there was an increase of interest on the part of students in community service programs, particularly the Techwood Tutorial Program and High School Tutoring Program. On April 25, 1968, students delivered an "Open Letter" to President Harrison. Initiated by campus leaders and signed by over 500 students, the letter requested that the administration expand its community service efforts.


Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Accession #1992.0402 (old number: 92-04-02).

General Physical Description note

(six document cases and Oversize)

Processing Information

Susan J. Illis processed these papers in 2002 and 2003.

Inventory of the Urban Renewal Projects (Georgia Institute of Technology) Records, 1941-1974 (bulk 1968-1974)
Susan J. Illis
Copyright 2002.
Description rules
Finding Aid Updated Using Rlg Best Practice Guidelines For Encoded Archival Description
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA