Towns were declared unconstitutional
Some towns that had their start during the Depression Era were declared socialistic and unconstitutional in the 1940s and 1950s era when the anti-socialists were influencing American politics. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a program to build new suburban communities as part of his New Deal plans for the country. The overseeing department was the Resettlement Administration which later became a part of the Farms Security Administration.
Greenhills, Ohio is now one of only three “Greenbelt Towns” left built in the United States. The other two were Greenbelt, Maryland and Greendale, Wisconsin.
Rexford Guy Tugwell (“Rex the Red” in conservative circles) was a Princeton agricultural economist who was part of Roosevelt’s brain trust.
Photojournalist, John Vachon, took the following photographs of Greenhills in October 1939.
Oldest shopping strip mall in Ohio at Greenshills when it was new, taken October 1939 by John Vachon
Behind School Greenhills, Ohio October 1939 by John Vachon
Nearly 4,000 residents inhabited the homes
Greenhills cost $11.5 Million
Greenhills alone cost $11.5 million, which included purchasing 5,360 acres of land in Springfield Township. About 3,300 workers spent 4.3 million man-hours constructing the town, and many of them became its first residents.
The land north of town was divided into large farms, where residents would come for fresh milk and produce.
The towns were declared unconstitutional
Tugwell envisioned 20 of these towns and before the program was declared unconstitutional he managed to build three: Greenbelt, Maryland (outside of Washington), Greendale, Wisconsin (outside of Milwaukee) and Greenhills, Ohio (outside of Cincinnati).
In 1939, the forest to the south was handed over to the Hamilton County Park Board to form Winton Woods.
After World War II, Uncle Sam decided to sell off the greenbelt towns, ending the community experiment. On Dec. 9, 1949, the Greenhills Home Owners Corp., a nonprofit tenant group, purchased 610 acres of Greenhills for $3.5 million. The tenants then bought the properties they had been renting.
New one-family houses of the typical suburban style were built, turning Greenhills into a bedroom community. The northern farmland was sold in 1952 to create New Greenhills, which was instead named Forest Park.
“Tapestry of Love is a Historical fiction series about the ancestors of a family who originally settled on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1638 and migrated to Alabama in the early 1800’s
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