One of the first neighborhoods in Birmingham where African Americans were allowed to own property is getting a new lease on life. The Greek Streets Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is designed to make significant improvements to the historically rich community of North Titusville.
On the project’s development team are Design Initiative, Navigate Affordable Housing and Titusville Development Corporation, founded in 1984 to maintain, revitalize and develop Titusville. Greek Streets is named for a series of streets within the development footprint, Kappa, Omega, Iota and Theta, says architect Marshall Anderson, owner of Design Initiative in Birmingham. Adjacent streets – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta – are also named after letters in the Greek alphabet.
The project includes several different lot sizes and street conditions, each with their own ‘fabric’ and a series of prototypes have been developed that address the specific conditions and context, Anderson explains. These prototypes include courtyard cottages that orient toward a shared amenity, narrow lot cottages reminiscent of the shotgun house, and one and two-story homes with and without garages for larger lots. The goal is to not only fit appropriately into the neighborhood fabric, but also provide housing choice, he adds.
“We are currently in the process of securing the land for the development, and that may affect project timeline and phasing. Initially, our intent was to build the entire 50-house development within a 24-month time frame. Depending on property acquisition, we are considering building out the development in smaller phases, roughly 16 homes each.”
The revitalization initiative is based on three concepts – housing choice, street improvements and community-centered development. Houses are designed to meet a range of income levels and assistance will be given to new residents who need funding for house repair. The initiative also includes repairing infrastructure such as streets, utilities, open space, pedestrian paths and parks.
Social infrastructure is another important component and enabling all members of the community to participate in the revitalization process. The Titusville Empowerment Community Center will implement the Holistic Community Revitalization program. All of these endeavors are supported by the Titusville Development Corporation. The Greek Streets Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is indeed a collaborative effort.
Images 1-3: The revitalization initiative is based on three concepts –housing choice, street improvements and community-centered development. Houses are designed to meet a range of income levels. Housing prototypes include courtyard cottages that orient toward a shared amenity, narrow lot cottages reminiscent of the shotgunhouse, and one and two-story homes with and without garages for larger
Image 4: The proposed site plan for the revitalization initiative. The development team is in the process of securing the land for the development, which is planned for 50 houses that may be built out in phases at about 16 homes each.
*Article By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Design Initiative