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Old 02-03-2013, 10:11 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,633 posts, read 23,219,501 times
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Until recently, I never knew that these communities of late 18th early 20th C homes had a name, but it seems that they do.

Homes built in inner ring suburbs in the teens and twenties and the decades directly preceding or coming after them, apparently stem from a movement that began in England in the late 19th Century called the Garden City Movement. This movement seems to have coincided chronologically and aesthetically with the Arts and Crafts movement and stressed many of the same values - incorporating natural beauty into the subdivision by the use of greenbelts, wide tree lined streets often with a grassy median, construction of man made lakes and waterways, sidewalks and community parks that encouraged outdoor activity and social interaction as well as some self contained features such as houses of worship, a school, and entrance and exit gates that serve more to define the continuity, than to keep others out.

Many of these cities or inner ring suburbs have homes designed in one of the following architectural styles - neo colonel, Arts and Crafts, shingle style, Dutch colonel, neo Tudor, stucco Spanish influences or cottage and occasionally Cape Cod Style.

These planned communities often had restrictive covenants that prevented the use of certain colors, and promoted the maintenance of ones home and garden.Sometimes these covenants also restricted the sale of the homes to non-white or non Protestant or at least Christian buyers. I think in most cases these have been revoked.

Garden City Movement enclaves were sometimes a distinct municipality, but at othertimes they are a subdivision located within a city or incorporated village.

Some Garden City Movement communities that I have visited or that I know of are Redburn NJ, Norris TN, Garden City, NY, Shaker Heights OH, Forest Hills Gardens NY, Greenbelt MD, Florence Park NY, Bellerose Village NY, Mountain Lakes NJ, and Jamaica Estates NY.

There are also quite a few with in or on the outskirts of Rust Belt Cities that still contain beautiful homes but have fallen on hard times. There are some in and near Youngstown Ohio that I have noticed that seem ripe for restoration and can be purchased for very little money. I am sure that there are many others tucked across the US and Canada,

Does anyone else share my appreciation of Garden City Movement comminties, have any thing to add to this subject, or know of other communities of which I am not aware?
Pictures would be a real treat! Does any one live in one?

I think that they are a real piece of our architectural past and their solid pre- world homes have, even us the worst communities, the most neglected and rundown hold on to their beauty and are solidly constructed.

Please share your thoughts and comments!

( originally this was posted in the architecture forum, however I realized that was not the right place)
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,055 posts, read 16,063,174 times
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Here in the US it also was the influencing force behind the city beautiful movement. Chicago and DC are probably the best examples of it, but its influence can be seen in many cities. San Francisco's civic center being the one I am most familiar with.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of love for it on these forums, it gets too close to the whole towers in a park that's so popular to hate on among armchair urbanistas. I've always rather liked them although there's plenty of bad examples of it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:53 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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I'm not sure why not. They embodied a more egalitarian type of living that gave a nod to nature and encouraged community, pedestrian traffic and a less formal way of living than the foreboding and imposing Victorian homes and estates.

They cane about at the same time as the arts and crafts movement and seem to embody much of the same ethos.

Was the city beautiful movement jist a more urban take on the same thing?

What are some other attributes and aspects of these communities and what critisims do people have of them?
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,328,149 times
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There is a prime example of a "garden city" 'suburban' residential development in just the next neighborhood next to where I live: Garden Court here in Philadelphia's University City. The developer, Clarence Siegel, purchased a large swath of acreage from the uber-wealthy Drexel family, who made their millions in banking, just after World War 1. He created homes he described and marketed as "artistic" and was greatly influenced by the English "aesthetic movement" and the "arts and crafts movement" popular in the early years of the 20th century in both Britain and the US.

Built in the 1920's, Garden Court has something the surrounding older Victorian neighborhoods do not have: service alleys or lanes between streets where trash cans are picked up by city sanitation trucks, and driveways for cars in the rear of the houses. It was an acknowledgment to a new paradigm in residential neighborhoods: the automobile. In designing the neighborhood Siegel and his associates were excruciatingly careful to creating a streetscape in which there was a variation of architectural styles: "Craftsman," "Bungalow or Shingle Style," "Tudor Revival," "Colonial Revival" etc. which were very popular in the period from WW1 through the Stock Market Crash ... and yet certain materials and colors where used in all the houses to create a unifying and harmonious over all effect.

Garden Court is one of the most desirable and attractive neighborhoods in Philadelphia. It is a registered Historic District. It is extremely well maintained, and homes here generally go for anywhere from $650,000 for a semi-detached "Twin" or duplex-type townhouse to $1.5 million for a single family house.

Look it up: Garden Court, University City, West Philadelphia, PA.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,363 posts, read 59,787,282 times
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My little hometown of Lawrence Park, Pa., was developed as an industrial suburb of Erie following the Garden City planning ideal. This is an excerpt from a 1980s master planning document:

Quote:
The design concept is remarkably similar to, and undoubtedly grew from, the 11 garden cities being proposed and developed as satellite communities near London. Having a mixture of Utopian and pragmatic goals, these garden cities were designed so that the inhabitants would have the advantages of nearness to work and to the countryside, inhabit good houses with gardens, enjoy healthy and pleasant environments and modern, urban services. This garden city movement was first manifested in the development of the town of Welwyn, twenty miles outside of London by Sir Ebenezer Howard, and further developed in the suburb of Letchworth in 1919.

The first section of Lawrence Park to be developed just prior to World War I incorporated the most advanced thinking of the time. It continues to this day to be a stable, inviting and pleasant residential environment. Design features which are similar to the British garden city designs include: the continuation of the main axis of the General Electric plant through the residential community (Main Street); a wide boulevard (Iroquois Avenue) converging at an angle with the main axial street (Main Street); the contrast of these formal axes by the introduction of a curvilinear, informally designed, peripheral street system (Napier and Emmet Drive); the establishment of park lands around the periphery and extending into the residential area located along Four Mile Creek and extending from both Napier and Emmet Drive; the establishment of a small business area in the center of the residential community; and the placing of garden houses--or town houses--so as to enhance the mixture of formality and informality. All of these factors are notable since it is most unusual in the United States to see residential development follow a comprehensive design which integrates major thoroughfares, residential streets, open space, parks and structures. Indeed, following the initial surge of development, subsequent building followed the more haphazard pattern that is more typical of residential development in this country.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,328,149 times
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Philadelphia's Garden Court neighborhood ...


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Old 02-04-2013, 07:26 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,633 posts, read 23,219,501 times
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Thanks for the examples and picture!
What is the case against these lovely older enclaves? Their broad boulevards, liberal use of parks and the human scale architecture all seems like a good thing to me.

I know there is some criticism, and the first person to respond said that they are not popular on these forums. Why? Craftsman Style homes seem popular here. The two seem interconnected to me is style and ideology.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:28 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,633 posts, read 23,219,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Philadelphia's Garden Court neighborhood ...

Very nice! Tried to rep you but was blocked. I will look up both neighborhoods.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Glendale, CA
1,298 posts, read 2,110,423 times
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Our neighborhood, Rossmoyne, was recently designated a historic district in Glendale due to the items you describe above: One of the very first auto-centric suburbs of Los Angeles, built with a variety of "revival" styles. There were even covenants restricting ownership to certain (white) races.

Per the LA Times:

The neighborhood, established in the 1920s, is composed of homes in a variety of sizes and architectural styles. Classic examples of American Colonial, English Tudor, French Normandy, Italian Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival exist side by side. Though that may sound like a mishmash, the quality craftsmanship and period details have helped the district avoid any sense of architectural excess. Guidelines for Glendale’s historic districts dictate how windows, doors, roofs and other exterior features can be altered in keeping with character of the neighborhood.


THere are a lot of good resources about the neighborhood here (with pics of homes and materials about the history):

Proposed Rossmoyne Historic District Materials

It's actually a really nice community to be a part of.
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