A Purposely Built Community: Public Housing Redevelopment and Resident Replacement at East Lake Meadows Open Access

Goldstein, Adam Phillip (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/1g05fc20p?locale=en


The story of East Lake's redevelopment is well known throughout the city of Atlanta and the United States for being a gold standard for public housing and community redevelopment. This thesis will examine the history of the East Lake Meadows public housing project and its redevelopment and, while couching that story alongside the history of public and assisted housing in the United States, seeks to show how the story of East Lake is not particularly unique. Furthermore, this thesis hopes to display that East Lake's story should not be looked to as a model for community development, but instead as a case study in community replacement. While this project does not intend to dismiss the successes of the East Lake redevelopment, it hopes to highlight how the redevelopment did not invest in the residents of the East Lake Meadows public housing project. Instead, the history shows that the business and political elite of Atlanta involved in the redevelopment process opted to invest in a section of America's poor they deemed more worthy of their help.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

East Lake's Beginnings 3

Building East Lake Meadows 7

"Little Vietnam" 19

East Lake Comes to the Forefront 32

"A Hidden Light at East Lake" 41

"Great Step Forward" 61

"The Loud Voices of Incivility Now Reign" 64

"It's Divide and Conquer" 70

"A Lot of Flexibility and Ingenuity" 72

The East Lake Way 75

Bibliography 82

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