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.
Greendale (2011) greendale.org
National Register and New York City Landmarks
Sunnyside Gardens and Phipps Garden Apartments (1984/2007)
New York City
No Historic Certification
Hillside Homes Apartments eastchesterheights.com
New York City
Cornell University is the major source for the study of
the American Garden Cities.
The Clarence S. Stein Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies
Provides fellowships and organizes educational programs related to the Garden city movement.
- K.C. Parsons - was foremost scholar on Clarence Stein's works and founding director of the Clarence S. Stein Institute of Urban and Landscape Studies.
- Michael Tomlan - nation's leading preservationist with international projects in Southeast Asia (second director).
- Stephan Schmidt - GIS expert with international experiences, including head of GIS leadership training project in East Africa (current director).
- Contains Clarence Stein's archives with documents describing design and construction of the Landmark Garden cities (
- Contains dissertations relalting to the Stein Institute's continual research on the Garden city movement.
- Created the website New York Climate Change Science Clearinghouse with scientists to inform public and policymakers on the latest developments.
Updated June 2016