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 building 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)

diamond Radburn (2005)

diamond Chatham Village (2005)

diamond Greendale (2011)
(eligible candidate for National Historic Landmark program)

National Register and New York City Landmark

diamond Sunnyside Gardens and Phipps Garden Apartments

No Historic Certification
diamond Hillside Homes Apartments


Cornell University is the major source for the study of the Garden City movement in America. Its resources are provided by:

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

diamond Clarence Stein Archives

diamond Henry Wright Archives

Professional Studies on the Garden City Movement

diamond Works on Clarence Stein by Kermit Carlyle Parsons
Description of Parson's book on Stein and a bibliography compiled by Parsons of his important articles before his death in 1999.

diamond Works on Urban Planning and Clarence Stein
by Kristin E. Larsen

A continuation of Kermit Carlyle Parsons' work. Publications and on going research of Kristin E. Larsen at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

diamond "The Pragmatist--the Impact of Stein and Wright's Works on the Federal Housing Administration"
Published research and other related projects by Dr. Lauren Weiss Bricker of the California State Polytechnical Institute, Pomona, California

Updated December 2015