J.E.B. Stuart Homes
The J.E.B. Stuart homes were one of several federally funded projects that built low-cost WWII housing with a minimum of amenities.
Built in the southern part of the county, they were constructed without regard to Arlington County building and zoning regulations. Segregated according to race, as was the custom at that time, the George Pickett, Shirley, J.E.B. Stuart and Jubal Early homes were for whites. The George Washington Carver and Paul Dunbar home were for blacks. The homes were built on concrete slabs without basements and heated by coal stoves. Tenants were selected on the basis of need. Residents of the Stuart homes, pictured above, and the other developments were for people employed by the rapidly-growing federal government during the war years; Arlington County in general had a significant upsurge in population during the 1930s and 1940s.
After the war, those who could afford to moved out of the homes and the properties gradually deteriorated. The federal government wanted to dispose of the projects and offered them to the County to be used for low income families living in sub-standard housing. However, the County decided against the offer as acceptance would have entailed the establishment of a local Housing Authority, a proposal which was very controversial at the time. As a result, the homes that had been built to a higher, more permanent standard were sold to tenants and the others were razed.
What About You?
Do you remember the J.E.B. Stuart homes and similar housing? What were the war years like in Arlington? Let us know what you remember!