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The craftsman
Vol. XVII, Number 3 (December 1909)

Stickley, Gustav
Rapid growth of the garden city movement, which promises to reorganize social conditions all over the world,   pp. 296-310 PDF (5.4 MB)


Page 308


    GROWTH OF THE GARDEN CITY MOVEMENT
examples the cottages and farmhouses of old England and have
kept intact the style which, more than any other, is suited to the
country, even while modifying the buildings to suit the most modern
requirements.
   One of the first principles observed in the planning of the suburb
was that this tract of land was intended to be built on, not built up.
To this end an Act of Parliament was secured limiting the number
of houses to be built to the acre to twelve, instead of fifty, so that the
g arden space is ample and is forever secured against encroachment.
The houses are most effectively grouped around crescents or quad-
rangles or are scattered singly along irregular, winding roads. The
great charm of the place is due to the fact that every bit of natural
beauty has been preserved. Not a tree has been taken down nor a
hedgerow disturbed,-and Wyldes, like Hampstead Heath, has been
famous for centuries for its magnificent trees and fine old hedges of
thorn. Where the town plan, as it was first laid out, did not agree
with the position of the trees, hedges and other long-established
features, the plan was altered. Therefore, the streets and driveways,
instead of being laid out in prim squares or diagonals, follow the lines
of the hedges, and here and there a house nestles close to the base
of a fine old tree which forms the chief glory of the little garden, and
seems to shelter and protect the cottage at its feet. The effect of
this policy can hardly be realized by people who are accustomed to
seeing a new tract of land developed for building purposes by the
usual means of removing every scrap of timber, filling up every in-
equality, and leveling the whole surface into flat monotony, to be
planted anew with infant trees and shrubs after the houses are built.
t goes without saying that all such "development" was ruled out
of Hampstead Garden Suburb from the very beginning and to this
bit of wisdom it owes the appearance of age and permanence which
usually belongs only to an old town. This effect is heightened by
the appearance of the houses themselves, which are wonderfully
rich and mellow in coloring. As the English law forbids the build-
ing of wooden houses, these are all of stone, brick or rough-cast cement,
with roofs of pan tiles or heavy, rough slates. Nearly all these roofs
are red and where cement is used for the walls it is, for the most part,
colored to a warm biscuit brown, which blends beautifully with the
dull red or fawn of the bricks and the varied colorings found in split
stone.
    The social element, which is, after all, the main object of the
 whole movement toward garden villages and better housing, pre-
 dominates in Hampstead Garden Suburbs. While it is possible
 there to pay any rent one pleases for a dwelling as large and elab-
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