A surprising array of critics from both the political left and right agree that public housing as built has next to no redeeming features. These places are written off as havens of crime and poverty. But this is false. Like communities across the United States, the history of Columbus, Ohio’s first and all-black public housing development Poindexter Village reveals a strikingly different story. On the city’s Near East Side, African-Americans formed a neighborhood in the face of segregation, built housing, created a vibrant and supportive community, and even challenged the popular notion of historic preservation.