Freedmen's Town is located in Houston's historic Fourth Ward just north of the downtown area. Originally occupied by freed slaves in the late 1800's, Freedmen's Town was once a vibrant and culturally rich mixed-use community of small owner-occupied shotgun style houses, shops, and churches. But over the years much of the property was acquired by absentee landlords and the community had fallen into disrepair and neglect.
In the 1990's the Housing Authority of the City of Houston (HACH) obtained a HOPE VI grant from HUD to demolish a large public housing development that was built on the eastern edge of the Fourth Ward in the 1930's, and replace the 1,000 units with new housing on the same site and in the Fourth Ward area. The HOPE VI grant also included funds to acquire and renovate existing housing stock in Freedmen's Town.
In 1999 MCCM Architects was retained by HACH to substantially renovate 27 existing houses and design 13 new in-fill housing units in a four square block area HACH had acquired.
MCCM worked closely with HACH, user
groups, and other stakeholders to develop a
re-development plan for the four block area. The
resulting renovation program required substantial
interior renovation with the exterior architecture
restored to replicate and maintain the original
character of the community. The new housing was designed
to emulate and fit in seamlessly with the original historic architecture. Most off-street parking was located in the rear to retain the pedestrian character of the neighborhood and existing healthy trees were saved.
MCCM responsibilities included programming, site planning, re-platting, architecture, engineering, landscaping, interior design, graphics design, and construction administration phase services.