Statement of Significance (as of designation - April 5, 2005):
Chatham Village is an internationally acclaimed model of community design based on Garden City planning, innovative methods of cost analysis, and pioneering efforts to reduce housing construction costs. It was designed by local architects under the supervision of master planner-architects Clarence S. Stein and Henry Wright, as a philanthropic project by the Buhl Foundation to provide high-quality housing in a suburban garden setting for clerical workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Building upon earlier work at Sunnyside Gardens, New York, and Radburn, New Jersey, Chatham Village is one of the most celebrated and influential projects to result from Stein and Wright's highly creative, ten-year collaboration and the efforts of the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA) to promote social reform and improvement in the housing of moderate income Americans in metropolitan areas of the United States. Immediately acclaimed as an ideal demonstration of neighborhood planning and cost-efficient housing, Chatham Village influenced the development of design standards used by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to approve large-scale, rental housing in suburban areas for federally-insured mortgages. It helped to shape the design and construction of the first federally-funded public housing projects under the Public Works Administration in the 1930s.