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Chatham Village: Pittsburgh’s Garden City

Chatham Village: Pittsburgh’s Garden City
Angelique Bamberg
University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 214 pp., $29.95

Chatham Village was a Depression era (1932–34) model of community planning that has remained faithful to its founding mission while accommodating itself to societal changes over the last 80 years. It was originally conceived as a low-cost housing development, and has remained an insular middle class neighborohood near downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Alleghany and Monongahela Rivers. The property was on a hill, which led to grading, circular walks, garages in the rear, buried utility lines and controlled landscapes. The reduction in air pollution from Pittsburgh’s steel mills made the city livable.

With these advantages, tenancy has remained stable. Upkeep on the houses is supervised. Unlike some well-meaning housing developments in the New York and the Chicago areas, this village has remained as its designers planned. Bamberg has written a detailed account, including land acquisition, architectural and urban planning, and a sociological study of the tenants, which is valuable for students in those areas of research.

— Adele Kleine, Library volunteer and garden writer, Chicago Botanic Garden