This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries Alabama Historic City Plans Viewer

Alabama Historic City Plans Viewer

This project is the first online, open access, cloud-based map resource for historic Alabama city plans from 1919-2019. Over the course of this two-year grant-funded research project, the collaborators identified, collected, and analyzed 1,107 historic Alabama city plans and Homeowners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) redlining maps. Through this digitization project, the collaborators aimed to make these historic city planning documents digitally available to the public for future research and for practicing planners and students. The vast majority of these historic Alabama city plans had not been digitized and were only available in print format, held mainly in the collections of Auburn University Libraries, Alabama Department of Archives and History, and the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

The project’s methodology was: (1) locating historic city plans, including the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) redlining maps and reports for Alabama, (2) obtaining the documents and digitizing them, (3) analyzing and creating metadata for each document, and (4) creating the open-access GIS-based repository of plans for outreach and future research. The GIS viewer includes historic city plans, HOLC maps and plans, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 701 Grant Plans for Alabama, which have continued relevance to planning practice today. The historic plans and maps of Alabama documented in this project include Regional and County Plans (333), City Plans (737), and State Plans (37) were created during the defining moments of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement and specifically written with the intention to reinforce racial segregation across the state.

The Alabama Historic City Plans Viewer is now available as an open access, online, and interactive GIS repository through

  • Rebecca Retzlaff, AICP, Professor, Community Planning Program, Auburn University (PI)
  • Charlene LeBleu, FASLA, FCELA, AICP, Professor, School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, Auburn University (Co-PI)
  • Kasia Leousis, Associate Professor, Architecture and Art Librarian, Auburn University (Co-PI)
  • Josh Cameron, AICP, GIS-Professional and Principal Planner, Shelby County, AL Development Services—Planning Services


This digital mapping project was funded by the Auburn University’s Office of the Vice-President for Research Intermural Grants Program, College of Liberal Arts, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and the Libraries.

Map of Alabama from Alabama Historic City Plans Viewer
Alabama Historic City Plans Viewer:

How to use the viewer:

  • Search for a city or town by name or click on a dot to view.
  • Navigate using the arrows to see all available plans and maps.
  • To access the PDF, click on More Info.
Last updated: 12/13/2021