Photos of Hale County, Alabama, which is ranked by the New York Times among the hundred hardest laces to live in America.
In general, in Alabama’s black belt, there is very little evidence of economic revival. This is also true in Hale County. However, in most of the black belt, the lack of economic revival also means a lack of architectural revival. This is where Hale County differs from the rest of the black belt.
Hale County is home to Auburn University’s Rural Studio, where architecture and design students get hands on experience restoring decaying buildings in town, as well as planning and building new constructions.
One of the most exciting and longest running projects students at the Rural Studio are working on is the $20k House. The goal of the project is to develop a home that can be built for a total of $20,000 and reproduced on a large scale, thus providing a safer, more durable alternative to the mobile home. Once completed, this project will provide a realistic path to home ownership for the residents of Hale County, and eventually for low-income families nation-wide.