Dept. of Community Development Community Renewal Program Records, 1959-1971  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Community Development
Title
Dept. of Community Development Community Renewal Program Records
Dates
1959-1971 (inclusive)
Quantity
2.4 cubic feet, (4 boxes)
Collection Number
1642-04
Summary
Records of Frank McChesney from his work with Seattle's Community Renewal Program (CRP). McChesney was the first project director of CRP and later served as Senior Urban Renewal Planner for the City.
Repository
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
98124-4728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-233-7807
Fax: 206-386-9025
archives@seattle.gov
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1957, the Washington State Legislature adopted a "Urban Renewal Act" enabling cities of Washington to take action to prevent, arrest, and eliminate blight. After the US Housing Act of 1959 authorized the Housing and Home Finance Administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make grants to localities for the preparation of Community Renewal Programs, Seattle formed a Community Renewal Program Committee. The federal Community Renewal Programs were designed to assist cities in the development of long-range comprehensive plans for city-wide renewal, inventorying existing "blight" both residential and non-residential, assessment of public facilities, streets, schools, parks and playgrounds, and libraries, and to assess the urban renewal treatment needed to "recapture, or create anew the good environment."

Seattle City Council authorized an application for the federal Community Renewal Program (CRP) in 1962 (Ordinance 91682) and the contract between Housing and Home Finance Agency and the City of Seattle was signed January 25, 1963. The CRP number was Wash. R-12 (CR). The total amount was for $201,491, of which federal monies constituted $134,329 (or two third of the total amount) and $67,162 was made up by City appropriations and contributed staff services. Subcontracts were let for economic studies, field surveys, and statistical work, as well as for analyzing 1960 census data. Although the Planning commission suggested the administration of the grant be transferred to their office, it remained in the Urban Renewal Office within the Executive Department until 1969 when entire Urban Renewal Division was transferred to the newly created Department of Community Development.

The goal of the Community Renewal Program was to conduct a two-year study to develop a 10-year urban renewal program with an emphasis on community rehabilitation. Specifically the study was focused on: understanding "blight" in Seattle, which included: determining the role of private enterprise, and analyzing the potential re-use of land. Other goals included: learning what public efforts are needed, reviewing codes and ordinances relating to urban renewal; and establishing priorities for urban renewal projects in Seattle. The CRP was renewed as a support function for the Model Cities project in 1969.

Frank McChesney was hired in 1962 as project director for the Community Renewal Program; he was previously in charge of Pittsburgh's CRP. He was promoted to Senior Urban Renewal Planner in 1963. Other individuals hired as Urban Renewal Planners included Assistant Community Renewal Planner Tom Bay, Junior Community Renewal Planners William Wallace, Edward Shaw, and King Katz.

The City contracted with the University of Washington for electronic data processing and various other consultants for other pieces of the grant. Other public agencies participating in the CRP included various City departments : building, Engineering, Health, Parks, Fire, Police, the City Planning Commission, the Seattle housing Authority, The Seattle School District, the Puget Sound Regional Planning council, the Port authority and the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Study.

Other urban renewal projects in the 1960s included: Yesler-Atlantic, University-Northlake, South Seattle, and the Pike Place Market.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Primarily the records of the Community Renewal Program, although there is some information on other urban renewal projects including Northlake/ University, First Hill, Cherry Hill, and the Yesler-Atlantic Project. Correspondents include the Planning Commission, the University of Washington, and members of the Civic Unity Committee. Board minutes for the Civic Unity Committee are also included. There is some information on how the continuation of the grant overlapped with the Seattle Model City Program.

In addition to correspondence of Frank McChesney, the records include correspondence from 1962 to 1964 of Talbot Wegg, Urban Renewal Coordinator in the Office of Urban Renewal, who was responsible for hiring Frank McChesney. Correspondence concerns CRP program in other cities, the hiring of additional personnel, and consultant research for the CRP.

The bulk of the records (2.0 cf) relate to the CRP. A Steering Committee was established with the Planning Commission staff and staff of the Office of Urban Renewal to assist with survey methodologies. The progress reports, quarterly reports, and minutes, provide an overview of the challenges and issues the project encountered as well as background on decisions made in the CRP.

Drafts of the CRP application with the Urban Renewal Administration of the Housing and Home Finance Agency is included along with subsequent revisions in 1965 and the final contract. Correspondence back and forth between the two agencies is included. Seattle requested copies of many other cities' applications for Community Urban Renewal Programs, and these are included in the records. Correspondence with the Regional Director for Urban Renewal in Region VI of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, as well as staff from Washington, D.C. during the submittal of the CRP application is included. The CRP application was submitted with ten working papers outlining procedure of developing the study; twenty-one working papers were written in total and they are included in these records. Topics include blight analysis, survey manuals and housing evaluation. Drafts of a final report are included, but there is no final draft.

A large portion of the data analysis and survey work was done by contractors. Correspondence and contracts with consultants is included. The University of Washington was involved in mapping work and other consultants worked on urban design and census data.

Information on other urban renewal projects are included in this records series. Overviews of projects such as the Cherry Hill Project and the Yesler Atlantic program are included. Background information used in urban renewal projects is at the end of the records. Information on housing, labor, and industry is included.

Correspondents include: Talbot Wegg, Urban Renewal Coordinator, John (Jack) P. Willison, Urban Renewal Director, city officials in other cities involved in CRP, and Urban Renewal officials at the federal level.

Related records include other Urban Renewal Program records as well as Urban Renewal and Planning studies in the Documents Catalog.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Community Renewal Program Records, Record Series 1642-04. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

1642-04:  Community Renewal Program Records, 1959-1971Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Correspondence
1962
1/2
Correspondence
1962
1/3
Correspondence
1963
1/4
Correspondence
1963-
1/5
Correspondence
1964
1/6
Correspondence
1964-1968
1/7
Correspondence - City Council
1958-1964
1/8
Correspondence - City Planning Commission
1959
1/9
Correspondence and Minutes - Civic Unity Committee
1960-1963
Community Renewal Program
Box/Folder
1/10
Project Information
1961-1963
1/11
Progress Reports
1963-1964
1/12
Quarterly Reports
1962-1965
1/13
Steering Committee Minutes
1962-1964
1/14
Steering Committee Memoranda
1963-1964
1/15
Staff Notes
1964
1/16
Speakers and Presentations
1962-1963
1/17
Conferences (includes speakers)
1962
1/18
Bibliography
-
1/19
Application
1959-1961
½0
Contract - Application - Seattle
1962-
½1
Application Revisions
1964-1968
½2
Contract - Revisions - Seattle
1965-
½3
Phase II Seattle Development Program
1969-1971
½4
Application - Amended Grant / Phase III / Model Cities Support
1968-1969
½5
Contract - Housing and Home Finance Agency
1962-1965
Contracts: Other Cities
Box/Folder
½6
Los Angeles
1962
½7
Milwaukee
1962
½8
Pittsburgh
1962-
½9
San Francisco
1962-
1/30
Spokane
1962-
1/31
Other Cities
1961-1962
Consulting Contracts
Box/Folder
2/1
General
1964-1965
2/2
University of Washington
1963-1964
2/3
Data Processing
1963
2/4
Economic Analysis
1962-1964
2/5
Fenton, Conger, Ballaine
1964
2/6
Puget Sound Regional Transportation Study
1963-1964
2/7
Tippetts, Abbott, McCarthy, Stratton
1963
2/8
Urban Design / John Morse and Associates
1965
2/9
Urban Design / Ted Bower
1964-1965
Working Papers
Box/Folder
2/10
#1 Goals, Techniques, Scheduling and Organization of the CRP
1962
2/11
#2 Data Files
1962-
2/12
#3 Urban Blight Studies
1962-
2/13
#4 Planning Commission
1962-
2/14
#5 Industrial Land
1962-
2/15
#6 Commercial Land
1962
2/16
#7 Residential Land
1962
2/17
#8 Sociological Studies
1962
2/18
#9 Urban Design
1962-
2/19
#10 Mayor's Working Committee
1962-
2/20
#11 Preliminary Analysis of the Cherry Hill Urban Renewal Conservation Project
1962-
2/21
#12 Characteristics of Non Sound Housing
1963-
2/22
#13 Residential Prototype Study
1963
2/23
#14 Field Survey Manual
1963
2/24
#15 Survey Manual (Assessors' Records)
1963
2/25
#16 Urban Renewal Study Areas
1963-
2/26
#17 Survey Manual (Office Evaluations)
1963-
2/27
#18 Use of Penalty Point System in Residential and non-residential Blight Analysis
1963-
2/28
#19 Punch Cards
1963
2/29
#20 Urban Renewal Study Area Analysis
1963
2/30
#21 Continuing Program
1964
Box/Folder
2/31
Report - Preliminary Drafts
1965-1966
2/32
Report - Draft
1966
Research and Background
Box/Folder
2/33
Blight Analysis
1959-1963
2/34
Census Research
1962-1964
2/35
Data Processing - Other Cities
1961-1963
2/36
Employment Data
1960-1963
3/1
Housing / Relocation
1964-1966
3/2
Housing
1964-
3/3
Mapping / UW
1963-1964
3/4
Mapping - Map List and Penalty Points
1964
3/5
Relocation Guide - Commercial Businesses
1963-1965
3/6
Surveys (includes key punch instructions)
-
Box/Folder
3/7
South Seattle Urban Renewal Planning Progress Reports 1 and 2
1964-
3/8
South Seattle Environmental Study
1965
3/9
Urban Renewal Memos 1-4
1963-
3/10
Central Business District
1964
3/11
Cherry Hill Urban Renewal Project
1960-1962
3/12
Fremont Renewal
1964
3/13
Community Coordination Project / Skid Road
1969-1970
3/14
Yesler Atlantic Program
1965
Background
Box/Folder
3/15
Seattle (includes maps and tours)
1962-1963
3/16
Urban Renewal - Seattle
1960-
3/17
Washington State
1962-
4/1
Sociological
1960-1963
4/2
Industry
1962-1966
4/3
Labor
1966-1967
4/4
Puget Sound
1959-1962
4/5
Urban Renewal
1962-1966
4/6
Minority Housing - U.S.
1962
4/7
Population
1961-
4/8
Real Estate
1964-

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • City planning--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Community development--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Urban renewal--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Community Development
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • McChesney, Frank (creator)