1004 W. Broward Boulevard
Built 1941, listed in the National Register of Historic Places 2011
The Dr. Kennedy Homes, located at 1004 W. Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, was built in 1941 and is the oldest intact federal low-income housing project remaining in Broward County. It was one of the last pre-World War II public housing projects constructed before building materials became scarce during the war. It was the 20th of 30 public housing projects built in Florida between 1939 and 1945.
The Dr. Kennedy Homes was the second housing project built by the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale. The first project, Dixie Court, was built to serve the African-American community.
The Dr. Kennedy Homes project was named for Doctor Thomas Simpson Kennedy (1859-1939), the first doctor in the area and one of Fort Lauderdale’s leading citizens. He was credited with saving the community from the 1899 yellow fever epidemic. When the state of Florida eventually confronted him about practicing without a license, he attended and graduated from medical school.
Dr. Kennedy Homes is built on an 8 ½ acre campus-like site and is located in a neighborhood of mainly low-rise residential properties. It consists of 45 one-and two-story separate buildings. They remain largely unaltered on the exteriors. Forty-four of them originally contained a total of 108 individual residential units and one that housed the administration building. Over time, some of the apartments have been reconfigured to increase the total number of units to 132.
The architects for the project were Harold D. Steward and Robert G. Jahelka and the builder was Chalker & Lund Company. A southern vernacular style prevails with front porches, gabled roofs, stucco siding and yards with trees, grass and pedestrian walkways. The community occupies most of a city block and contains buildings that occupy a landscaped lawn setting that are connected by concrete walkways.
There are four residential building types, each having from two to eight residential units.
All of the buildings are constructed of precast concrete joists and floor units, concrete block and stucco walls, and side-gable roofs surfaced with asphalt shingles. Metal security grills have been installed inside the aluminum frame single-hung sash windows. The plain wooden doors have no glass lights. Some buildings retain their two-panel exterior screen door. The shedroofed porches are supported by square wooden posts. The only decorative elements are the louvered vents found in the gable ends.
The Dr. Kennedy Homes Historic District is currently threatened. The Housing Authority is preparing to demolish all but three of the historic buildings on the site to be replaced with the same number of new housing units. This redevelopment plan is being contested by historic preservation interests in the area.