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'On a business basis': an American Garden City

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Mariemont, Ohio, began as the project of a wealthy reform-minded American woman who wanted to build a new town for the working people of her city of Cincinnati. Mary Emery, with the help of her business advisor Charles Livingood, hired planner John Nolen in 1921 to design the model town. Construction of this American Garden City began in 1925 using the Garden City idea introduced by Ebenezer Howard in 1898, and practised in England at Letchworth (1903) and Welwyn Garden City (1920). Mariemont represented the first fully articulated Garden City in the United States, as opposed to earlier attempts that had resulted in either suburban bedroom enclaves or worker housing strategies for a particular industry. Nolen used his Mariemont plan to demonstrate how a new town could be used to focus residential neighbourhoods for all classes around a town centre that was integrated within a regional metropolitan framework. Mariemont was offered as a solution to the problem of suburban alienation by providing decent housing, public amenities, and local industry within the metropolitan context.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of History St Thomas University Fredericton Canada ), Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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