Alexander Park was war housing developed by the Federal Public Housing Authority
units were thrown up as a temporary solution to an unprecedented influx of
wartime shipyard workers in the early 1940s. They were meant to be taken
After the war, area officials worried about whether the housing units
would fall into the hands of a private owner and whether prime land could
become a slum.
But, in 1956, millionaire philanthropist Fred Beazley purchased the
sprawling housing park with a two-pronged plan to help the community. He
wanted to offer lower-income families affordable housing and use the rent
revenue to fund charitable ventures from youth centers to a military
(The Virginian Pilot
dated Sept. 7, 2000)
June 30, 2002 was
the deadline for all residents to evacuate the 50 year old housing that
was originally meant to be temporary. The units were torn down soon after.
and Tim Houde obtained the following information in March 2005 from the
Portsmouth Public Library.
It is identified as the Housing Plan for Alexander Park . Included in this
document is the lease offered
to all tenants along with very detailed rules and regulations. Also, you can
"Discussion of the engineering problems encountered in designing and
constructing the municipal improvements for an 8400-dwelling unit project.
"The original program contemplated a total of 16,700 dwelling units
distributed as follows: Newport News, 5200; Norfolk, 6500: and Portsmouth. 5000. Subsequently, this program was revised, and
at present there are 3400 dwelling units under construction in Norfolk and vicinity and 5000 in the vicinity of
Portsmouth. This article will be confined to the work being done in Norfolk and Portsmouth."
Thank you Jim and Tim for allowing us to use your work.