The garden city or garden suburb was a response to the social and environmental ills of cities at the turn of the twentieth century. Letchworth Garden City, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and Welwyn Garden City were built outside London in the early 1900s, and each remains a highly desirable place of residence today. From the start, each was tightly regulated, and remains so a century later. By protecting the appearance and enhancing property values, the strict application of historic preservation principles contribute to the long-term sustainability of each place. Similar garden suburbs were built in the borough of Queens in New York City in the 1910s and 1920s – Forest Hills Gardens, Jackson Heights, and Sunnyside Gardens. They also demonstrate the benefits of strict regulation, either by a self-governing association or under New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Kroessler, Jeffrey A.
"Preserving the Historic Garden Suburb: Case Studies from London and New York,"
Suburban Sustainability: Vol. 2
, Article 1.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/subsust/vol2/iss1/1
Additional Files1 Home of Ebenezer Howard.docx (435 kB)
The home of Ebenezer Howard, Letchworth Garden City, 2012 (author’s photograph).
2 Hampstead Notice.docx (444 kB)
Notice to Freeholders, Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, 2011. Even after decades of tight regulation, the Trust reminds residents must obtain prior consent for all work listed here.
3 Sunnyside Fact Sheet.docx (213 kB)
Sunnyside Gardens: A Fact Sheet for Residents, Department of City Planning, ca. 1980. To the dismay of preservationists, the City Planning Commission removed these protections from Sunnyside Gardens when the zoning was changed after designation as a historic district, leaving the Landmarks Preservation Commission the sole arbiter of what is permissible in the district.
4 Sunnyside photoshopped.docx (273 kB)
During the effort to gain historic district designation, landmarking proponents prepared this photo-shopped image to show what could happen to the brick rowhouses in Sunnyside Gardens subject to individual taste absent the protection of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (Laura Heim Architect, 2007).
5 Sunnyside before and after.docx (1053 kB)
A rowhouse in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District before designation and after restoration with Landmarks Preservation Commission approval. Many houses are regaining architectural details lost prior to designation. (Laura Heim Architect, 2009).