Metropolitan Gardens

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Metropolitan Gardens (originally Central City Housing Project) was a 910-unit housing project in the Central City neighborhood in downtown Birmingham. The project was built in 1940 and razed in 2002.

Miller, Martin & Lewis were the architects for the $7.6 million project, ninety percent of which was funded by a 3% loan from the United States Housing Authority. When it first opened, a rental office was established at 2210 6th Avenue North. A central coal-powered plant provided steam heat for the apartments.

The project, which was soon perceived as a "slum", was completely renovated in 1974, the first major commission for the Owens and Woods Partnership.

"Metro Gardens" was owned and operated by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD). The project was demolished to make way for the privately owned, mixed-income housing Park Place Hope VI project.

In the mid-1990s, the zip code 35203 was one of the poorest zip codes in the nation, due to the zip code serving Metropolitan Gardens as its only residential area, with the majority of the rest of the area commercial buildings.


  • Housing Yearbook 1940. Chicago, Illinois: National Association of Housing Officials
  • Sherman, Amy L. (December 6, 1995) "Against walls: racial reconciliation in Birmingham - Birmingham, Alabama." Christian Century
  • Coman, Victoria L. and Vickii Howell (April 2, 2000) "Metropolitan Gardens residents wary of Hope VI dream housing." Birmingham News
  • "Wrecking ball swings Tuesday at Metropolitan Gardens, HOPE to rise from project." (March 3, 2002) Birmingham News
  • Tomberlin, Michael (June 16, 2003) "Hope VI project site work launched." Birmingham News