Clarence Stein and Henry Wright’s Garden Cities

During the early 20th century, architects Clarence Stein and Henry Wright founded the Garden city movement in the United States. Their purpose was to design viable communities as a solution to the complex problems faced by the nation as it was being transformed into an urban society by the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution.

During two decades, Clarence Stein and his talented collaborators designed and constructed several Garden cities on the east coast, the mid-west, and finally in Southern California. Their community designs dealt with solving the recurring problems of an urban society— high density, lack of affordable housing, and a compromise in the quality of life for the common man.

The administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt funded several of these community projects in its efforts to provide adequate housing and build communities during the Great Depression.

Later, Stein wrote Toward New Towns in America (1950), which described how he and his colleagues designed and built these Garden cities. Stein’s book continues to exert national and international influence on how new communities are to be designed in today’s modern society.


Below is a list of the Stein Garden Cities, along with links to their historic nominations and current websites.

National Historic Landmarks
diamond Greenbelt, Maryland (1996)

diamond Baldwin Hills Village (2001)
    Los Angeles, California

diamond Radburn (2005)
    Fairlawn, New Jersey

diamond Chatham Village (2005)
    Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

diamond Greendale (2012)
    Greendale, Wisconsin

diamond Greenhills (2017)
    Green Hills, Ohio

National Register and New York City Landmark
diamond Sunnyside Gardens and Phipps Garden Apartments (1984/2007)
   Queens, New York

No Historic Certification
diamond Hillside Homes Apartments
    Bronx, New York

Note:In 2018, the National Park Service gave permission for the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District to begin work on its National Historic Landmark nomination.
diamondLetter of Inquiry initiated the process (May 2017)
diamondNational Park Service's inspection of Sunnyside Gardens (September 2017)
diamond Letter of Permission to prepare Landmark nomination (October 2018)

Cornell University is the major research center for the study of the American Garden Cities and the international Garden City movement.

diamond The Clarence S. Stein Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies

diamond Cornell University Library

Updated February 2019