U.S. Housing Corporation Neighborhoods
Local Site of First Federal Private Housing Initiative
Between 1918 and 1919, over 600 houses were built in the Quad Cities by the United States Housing Corporation to provide emergency housing for war production workers. These homes were built as part of the first-ever, nation-wide initiative by the federal government to design and build civilian housing. The Rock IslandDistrict project, which included Rock Island, Moline, East Moline and Davenport, was the only project in Illinois and Iowa, the only one to span two states and the third largest completed project in the nation.
Two hundred of these small, distinctive homes were built in Rock Island in just half a year during a severe labor and materials shortage due to the war. Seventeen basic designs were repeated, including pointy-gabled double houses and many gambrel roof variations. They were split between four sub-neighborhoods and built to blend in with existing housing. Rock Island architects Cervin & Stuhr designed the houses, which were masterfully built by Henry Horst & Company. To this day, not one of these homes in Rock Island has been demolished – a testament to their craftsmanship and adaptability to modern families.
The U.S. Housing Corporation Houses are not contiguous; rather they are in four clustered areas east of 32nd Street and between 14th and 18th Avenues.
Due to their unique, shared history and intact nature, these housing clusters are identified as a single unit in Rock Island's 100 Most Significant Unprotected Structures. The U.S. Housing Corporation houses have been much researched and published by the Rock Island Preservation Commission, but for the quickest synopsis, check out the 1918 Government Housing summary. More in depth information can be located from the Plans & Publications link further down this page.
BoundariesFour distinct areas, from east to west:
- 32nd to 33rd Streets, 16th to 17th Avenues
- 39th to 41st Streets, mid-14th-15th Avenues to 18th Avenue
- 43rd to 44th Streets, 15th to 18th Avenues
- 44th Street to Moline border, 17th to 18th Avenues
Wards 6 & 7
Plans & Publications
Neighborhood Programs & Activities