Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Acquisition Info

Other Finding Aids

Related Material

Subject Terms


Preliminary Guide to the Jesse Epstein Papers
1926-1978



Manuscript Collection No.: 3043
Accession No.: 3043-001
Creator: Epstein, Jesse, 1910- , creator
Title: Jesse Epstein papers
Date Span: 1926-1978
Bulk: 1938-1948
Quantity: .73 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.




Biographical Note

Lawyer of Seattle, Washington. 1911-1989. Jesse Epstein was 2 years old when his family emigrated from Russia to Great Falls, Montana. He moved to Seattle after high school to attend the Univerity of Washington where he received a degree in political science, and graduating from the Law School. Epstein was the first director of the Seattle Housing Authority and a pioneer in the public housing field. He became director of the Housing Authority after approaching the Seattle mayor with his plan to put to use New Deal funds to remove slums and develop housing in the city in 1937. He wrote the state legislation that would create public housing agencies and traveled throughout the state to persuade people that it was not a first step toward socialism. The Legislature approved the Seattle Housing Authority in 1939. Epstein oversaw the creation of the city's first housing project, Yesler Terrace, a model for public-housing projects througout the country. It was innovative because Epstein ignored government guidelines for design, using instead an award winning architectural design; and because he insisted that the project was racially integrated. In 1945 Epstein moved to San Francisco to head federal housing authority programs for five Western states. After returning to Seattle he established a law practice, but was active in community service and charitable organizations. He served as president of the Mountaineers Club, and served on the boards for the Seattle Indian Center, REI, and Neighborhood House.

Scope and Content

Reports, writings, clippings, ephemera, scrapbook, 1926-1978 (bulk 1938-1948).

Includes information on the establishment of the Seattle Housing Authority in 1938, and on the Northwest Regional Office of the Federal Housing Administration. A report by Epstein, Box 1 folder 3, evaluates the impact of Federal aid on the State of Washington during the Depression.

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info

Donated by Jesse Epstein, 10/1/1979

Other Finding Aids

Inventory/container list available in Special Collections.

Related Material

Related accession: Droker, Howard, Collector.


Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Epstein, Jesse, 1910- --Archives.
Organizations:
Seattle Housing Authority, creator.
United States. Public Housing Administration.
Geographic Names:
Yesler Terrace (Seattle, Wash.)
Subjects:
New Deal, 1933-1939.
Public housing--Law and legislation--Washington (State)--Seattle.
Public housing--Washington (State)--Seattle.
United States--Social conditions--1933-1945.
Last modified: June 17, 2013
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