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Henry Wright (landscape architect)


Henry Wright (landscape architect)

Henry Wright (1878-1936), was an architect and major proponent of the garden city, an idea characterized by green belts and created by Sir Ebenezer Howard.


  • Biography 1
  • Brentmoor Park, Brentmoor,and Forest Ridge 2
  • Hi-Pointe DeMun 3
  • Sunnyside Gardens 4
  • Radburn 5
  • Chatham Village 6
  • Buckingham 7
  • References and Notes 8
  • External links 9


Born in Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri when he was only 23 years old. By the early 1920s Wright became one of the core members of the Regional Planning Association of America, along with Clarence Stein, Lewis Mumford, and Benton MacKaye, and it was this association that led to Wright's most well-known work.

He died in 1936.

Brentmoor Park, Brentmoor,and Forest Ridge

Early in his career, Wright designed Brentmoor Park, Brentmoor, and Forest Ridge, three private subdivisions in the city of National Park Service listed the Brentmoor Park, Brentmoor and Forest Ridge District (see: Historic district (United States)) on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Hi-Pointe DeMun

Also in St. Louis, The Hi-Pointe DeMun Historic district straddles the border of St. Louis (Independent City) and the suburb of Clayton, St. Louis County, Missouri. Platted in 1917 and 1923 respectively, Wright prepared the plat for the Hi-Pointe subdivision and was a trustee, and likely had input in the later design of the DeMun Park plat by his close associates Julius and Fredrick Pitzman. The two subdivisions include 484 residential and commercial buildings and detached residential garages. Most of the construction of the subdivisions was completed by 1930 and the district retains a high degree of integrity from that period with 455 contributing resources. The area was designed to include four small parks to provide open and recreational space for residents. In the early years a streetcar line located on DeMun avenue in the middle of the district provided transportation and today the former streetcar bed provides additional green space.

Sunnyside Gardens

Wright and Clarence Stein designed Sunnyside Gardens, in the Sunnyside neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, was one of the first developments to incorporate the "superblock" model in the United States. The complex was constructed from 1924 to 1929.

The residential area has brick row houses of two and a half stories, with front and rear gardens and a landscaped central court shared by all. This model allowed for denser residential development, while also providing ample open/green-space amenities. Stein and Wright served as the architects and planners for this development, and the landscape architect was Marjorie Sewell Cautley. These well-planned garden homes are listed as a historical district in the National Register of Historic Places, and are also home to one of the only two private parks in New York City.

Recently, on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, there was a hearing for landmarking on Sunnyside Gardens.


Wright and Stein later collaborated on the design of the Radburn community in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Radburn, founded in 1929, was intended to be the "town in which people could live peacefully with the automobile-or rather in spite of it". Radburn was designed in such a way that thoroughfares had a specialized use; main roads linking traffic at various sections, service lanes to allow direct access to buildings, and express highways. The desire was also to have as complete a separation of automobile and pedestrian as possible. Pedestrian crossways were designed at differing levels than that of autos, and were directed differing places than autos. These largely residential areas were termed "superblocks".

Radburn was also intended to become a garden city characterized by surrounding greenbelts, and the careful design of residential, industrial and agricultural land. Residential areas were designed to face inwards towards gardens and nature rather than out towards traffic. Unfortunately, the Great Depression proved the end of the "Radburn idea". Only a minute section was completed before the operation was forced to stop. The originally-planned manufacturing area never materialized, so the town became a commuter city, despite the planners' best hopes. The other main problem to appear were extremely high costs of developments of this type, as well as the large amount of land that it consumed. However, the city did achieve a very high level of pedestrian walkability.

Chatham Village

From 1929 through 1936, Wright and Stein designed the first two phases of the

  • Guide to the Henry Wright Papers

External links

  1. ^ Hamilton, Esley (December 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Brentmoor Park, Brentmoor and Forest Ridge" (PDF). St. Louis County, Missouri, Department of Parks and Recreation. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  2. ^ Dickerson, Russell E., Director,  
  3. ^ Wallace, Edith B.; Reed, Paula S. (December 12, 2003). National Register of Historic Places Registration: Chatham Village (pdf). National Park Service. 
  4. ^ Director, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 1/04/99 Through 1/08/99". National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-04-15. PENNSYLVANIA, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Chatham Village Historic District, Roughly bounded by Virginia Ave., Bigham St.,Woodruff St., Saw Mill Run Blvd., and Olympia Rd., Pittsburgh, 98001372, LISTED, 11/25/98 
  5. ^ a b Trieschmann, Laura D.; Hughes, Laura H. (November 2003). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Buckingham Historic District (Boundary Increase)" (PDF). EHT Traceries, Washington, D.C. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Local Districts". Arlington County, Virginia. 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2011-04-15. Buckingham Village Historic District (Built 1940-1943): Roughly bounded by North Glebe Road and North 5th, North Oxford, & North 2nd Streets 
  7. ^ "Buckingham Village". Arlington County, Virginia. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-04-14. Arlington County Local Historic District, 1993. Boundary increase, 1994 and 2009 
  8. ^ "Buckingham Village". Arlington County, Virginia. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-04-14. Villages 1 and 2 (All historic buildings to be demolished) 
  9. ^ a b Trieshmann, Laura; Weishar, Paul (October 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Buckingham Historic District (Boundary Increase 2009)" (PDF). EHT Traceries, Washington, D.C. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  10. ^ Ryan, Marie (1998-07-15). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Buckingham Historic District" (PDF). Paradigm Development Company, Washington, D.C. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  11. ^ Director,  
  12. ^ Director,  
  13. ^ Director,  

References and Notes

The Arlington County government has protected some of Buckingham's buildings by designating them as components of a local historic district.[6][7] Demolition has occurred, however, resulting in the loss of thirty buildings since 1953.[8][9] The National Park Service listed parts of the Buckingham Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999,[10][11] 2004[5][12] and 2010.[9][13]

During the mid-1930s, Wright designed a residential apartment community (Buckingham Community) that was constructed in six phases between 1937 and 1953 on former farm land in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Wright designed the first of these phases in the Colonial Revival style; the later phases also incorporated this style. Intended to be a middle-income neighborhood, the complex was funded by the Federal Housing Administration. The garden apartment complex applied pioneering principles of garden city planning to a large-scale planned residential community. These principles include low-density superblocks, curving streets, separation of automobiles and pedestrians, shallow two-to-three story building plans allowing improved light and ventillation and landscaped common spaces designed around apartments to form a continuous park. The buildings are arranged in U-shaped complexes enclosing grassy lawns planted with oak and elm trees. Wright located a shopping center at the intersection of two major streets in the middle of the community, evoking the idea of a traditional village center.[5]


[4] In 1998, the National Park Service listed Chatham Village on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

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