Forty-four years ago 507 E. Taylor Street became home to its first of many residents. From its inception this building was unique. It was one of the first subsidized housing complexes in the County; it was “state of the art” construction being 16 stories high and using a post-tension cabling system. It was the first vertical neighborhood in the area that contained 150 apartments.
Starting out as home to only elderly couples and individuals, it earned its original name of Golden Years Plaza. As the years have passed, and HUD regulations have changed, so has the building and its demographics. It is estimated that it has been home to more than a thousand people. Today, the average age of residents is 54 and occupancy preference is given to the elderly and disabled.
Beginning in 2009 though various grant sources, the Housing Authority began extensive renovation to try and preserve the community icon. Modernization projects began with a plumbing overhaul, new state of the art security system that includes 67 color cameras and digital entry access and continued on with new energy efficient windows, new roof, conversion of 8 units to full ADA compliance, new flooring, lighting, ceiling fans, thermostats, energy star rated appliances, and rebuilding of the boilers all culminating with a complete exterior renovation. Funding for the renovation totaled more than 3 million dollars.
In recognition of the significant changes to the Housing Authority’s flagship building the Board of Commissioners voted to change the building’s name to Taylor Street Plaza. At 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 19, 2014 a ceremony will be held to unveil the new sign. Residents and community members are welcome to attend.
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