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what: Manville Projects
where: currently the site of Manville High School

This is from Kathryn Quick's book "Manville - A History Enduring".

See an article written about the Projects. This was copied from the 1979 Manville News "50 Years" special edition.

From, page 28:
The Project, as it was known, was a wartime episode. Emergency housing for war workers was to be built on 24 acres owned by the borough between North 10th and 13th Streets, Brooks Boulevard and Bleecher Street the federal Public Housing Authority announced in May 1943. Immediately Manville was up in arms. Enormously patriotic though they were, citizens saw no reason why they should be called upon to have a prefabricated slum thrust into their midst, overtaxing water and sewer facilities and overloading their schools. The fight was carried all the way up to federal Circuit Court in Philadelphia. It might have gone higher if Manville had not been ordered to post a $1 million bond to obtain a stay of the construction contract awarded in early August. Unable to pay, Manville abandoned the fight. The rows of wooden barracks were built with guarantees that the buildings were to be torn down again two years after war's end, but the borough did not actually see the last of them until 1957. The site had by then been claimed for Manville High School and the project was still coming down as the school started to go up. Ah the protest had not been entirely in vain, however. To satisfy Manville's objections, the FPHA was obliged to drain a swampy portion of the tract, and to extend Sewer and water lines, curbs, gutters and a paved road to the project. As a result Manville had a fully improved site when its high school was built. Manville's good fortune in having a high school site was coincidence twice over. In 1938 the borough had envisioned that acreage as ripe for development under the FHA program for encouraging new home construction. Everything was set. Manville put its land up for auction, but instead of the sale being a mere formality, into the picture stepped Harry Robinowitz of Somerville, his pockets full of cash, and offered top dollar. Everyone in town knew Mr. Robinowitz. His father ran a junk yard in Somerville. Deny it as he would, Manville was convinced Mr. Robinowitz meant to bring that auto wrecking business onto their side of the river. Officials refused to go through with the sale, and the land remained vacant until pre-empted for wartime housing.

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