History of Radburn in the Head Lines

For map of modern day Radburn, click here

Part of the sales brochure.
The New York Times, 25 January 1928, pg. 1.
     Model Town to Rise in Jersey to Meet Needs of Motor Age
     City Housing Corporation Buys 1,005 Acres near Paterson for Community of 25,000
Safe Highways a Feature
     Pedestrians Not to Use Those Roads Set Aside for Auto's, Nor will Homes Face on Them
No Crossing to Schools
     Self-Contained Residential and Industrial Centre is the Aim - Land cost $2,000,000.2

The Fair Lawn - Paramus Clarion, 27 January 1928, pg. 1.
     Scientific City Planing (sic!) Experiment for Fair Lawn

     After looking over Long Island and New Jersey, the builders of Sunnyside Gardens select Fair Lawn as the spot for the most modern town in the United States
     Methods will be applied to Fair Lawn section taking in 1000 acres on both sides of Fair Lawn Avenue, from Saddle River to Fair Lawn Railway Station.3

The New York Times, 23 June 1929, pg. RE1.
     F. J. Frei, Howard Y. Zeller, James N. Wright, F. X. Viele, E. L. Boyle, E. B. Wells, A. D. Bogert, Alfred Fisher, W. M. Oliver, J. L. Brewer, John O. Walker, N. W. Morison, P. L. Grambs, C. Carlson, M. A. Smith and Paul S. Raebel are mentioned among the early settlers of Radburn. The last one is not mentioned in any directory.4
The Hackensack Republican, 1 November 1929, pg. 6, col. 1-2.
     First Residents Enter New Radburn Apartment

     The first residents have already moved into Abbott Court, the first apartment group to be completed in Radburn, the "Town for the Motor Age" between Hackensack and Ridgewood, NJ., it was announced today by the City Housing Corporation, the limited dividend company, which is building the new model community.
     Abbott Court provides two, three, four and five room apartments for a total of 92 families, the announcement stated. The group was designed by Andrew J. Thomas, one of the foremost architects of multi-family structures in the country, and is in complete harmony with the architectural character of the houses surrounding it, and are stepped from two stories to four stories in height.
     Unusual provision for light and air has been made in this apartment group. The apartment site comprises 2 1/2 acres, but the buildings themselves only comprises 25 per cent of the land, so that almost two acres are left permanently open in gardens and walks.5

The New York Times, 27 April 1930, pg. 172.
     Radburn's First Birthday.6

The New York Times, 20 February 1931, pg. 43.
     Radburn wins Award.7

The New York Times, 26 April 1931, pg. RE-10.
     More Radburn Trains.8

The New York Times, 31 May 1931, pg. RE-1.
     Radburn opens new pool.9

The New York Times, 22 November 1931, pg. 34.
     New Road Aids Radburn.10

The New York Times, 19 April 1931, pg. 151.
     Radburn's Second Birthday.11

The New York Times, 10 April 1932, pg. RE-1.
     Radburn's Third Birthday.12

The New York Times, 19 June 1932, pg. RE2.
     More houses build.13

The New York Times, 22 October 1933, pg. RE-2.
     Plans Abandoned.14

The architects.

     Clarence Samuel Stein (June 19, 1882 - February 7, 1975). Clarence Stein was born in Rochester, New York into an upwardly mobile Jewish family. While a youth, his family transplanted to New York City. There he was immersed in the milieu surrounding the Ethical Culture Society, attending its Workshop School and developing his sensibilities within the context of Progressive thought: the integration of physical and mental labor, the importance of a universal humanistic philosophy, the concept of a nurtured individualistic sensibility.15

     Henry Wright (1878–1936), American landscape architect and community planner, b. Lawrence, Kans., studied architecture at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. He was widely recognized as a leader in the movement for the building of better communities. He served (1918) as town planner for the Housing Division of the U.S. Emergency Fleet Corporation. Wright was a founding member of the Regional Planning Association of America, along with Lewis Mumford and Clarence Stein. This group imported Ebenezer Howard's garden city model from England to the United States. With Stein, Wright designed model communities at Sunnyside, L.I., and at Radburn, N.J. Radburn is especially noted for its superblock plan. He was consultant to the New York state commission on housing and regional planning during the 1920s, and later, to the Public Works Administration. Wright also taught at Columbia Univ. during the 1930s. He wrote Rehousing Urban America (1935)
     Born in Lawrence, Kansas, Henry Wright's family was Quaker and he based many of the ideas for his communities on Quaker ideas. In 1902 Wright helped architect George Kessler design the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri when he was only 23 years old. By the early 1920s Wright became one of the core members of the Regional Planning Association of America, along with Clarence Stein, Lewis Mumford, and Benton MacKaye, and it was this association that led to Wright's most well-known work.16,17 Photo's of Henry Wright and of his parents Francis Alfred Wright and Mary Huldah Chace can be seen at Chase Family Photo's near the bottom of the page.

     Margaret Sewell Cautley was the landscape architect. Graduating in 1917 from Cornell’s College of Agriculture, where she studied landscape architecture, Cautley worked for Warren H. Manning and then architect Julia Morgan. She opened her own practice in New Jersey and, in 1921, designed the 30–acre community park, Roosevelt Common, in Tenafly. In 1924, she was hired by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, the developer-philanthropists backing the Garden City movement. With them, she worked on Sunnyside Gardens, Phipps Garden Apartments, and Hillside Homes, all in New York City, and on Radburn, in Fairlawn, New Jersey. Cautley is credited with the selection of native plants for these projects, creating interior common spaces onto which homes and private gardens were oriented, and working to enhance a sense of community through landscape features.
Cautley lectured at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps in New Hampshire. She wrote for numerous magazines and authored the treatise, Garden Design: The Principles of Abstract Design as Applied to Landscape Composition in 1935. She earned her M.A. in 1943 from the University of Pennsylvania, where her thesis focused on renovation methods for blighted areas of Philadelphia.18,19

     Charles S. Asher was part of the team that developed Sunnyside and Radburn. Among other things, he named the streets. For his obituary, click the icon.20

     Andrew Jackson Thomas was a self-taught American architect who was known for designing low-cost apartment complexes that included green areas in the first half of the twentieth century.
     was born on Lower Broadway in Manhattan, New York, in 1875. Thomas was the son of a dealer in oil paintings and diamonds. His mother died when he was twelve. He was an orphan by the age of 13. Thomas spent some time working in the Yukon gold fields, and worked as a rent collector in the Columbus Avenue tenements in New York. He obtained a job as a timekeeper for a building contractor, where he became interested in construction plans. He was able to use his self-taught knowledge to launch a career as an architect. He died in 1965.21


  1. [S3] Radburn Association, Map of Radburn, NJ, c. 1990.
  2. [S22] NY Times, Jan 25, 1928. pg. 1.
  3. [S27] Clarion, Jan 27, 1928. pg. 1.
  4. [S22] NY Times, Jun 23, 1929. pg. RE1.
  5. [S67] Hack. Republican, 1 Nov 1929, pg. 6, col. 1-2.
  6. [S22] NY Times, 27 Apr 1930, pg. 172.
  7. [S22] NY Times, Feb 20, 1931. pg. 43.
  8. [S22] NY Times, 26 Apr 1931, pg. RE10.
  9. [S22] NY Times, May 31, 1931, pg. RE-1.
  10. [S22] NY Times, 22 Nov 1931, pg. 34.
  11. [S22] NY Times, 19 Apr 1931, pg. 151.
  12. [S22] NY Times, 10 Apr 1932, pg. RE1.
  13. [S22] NY Times, 19 Jun 1932, pg. RE2.
  14. [S22] NY Times, 22 Oct 1933, pg. RE2.
  15. [S58] Wikipedia, online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki //Clarence_Stein.
  16. [S57] Columbia El. Enc., online at http://reference.allrefer.com/encyclopedia //W/Wright-H.html.
  17. [S58] Wikipedia, online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki //Henry_Wright_%28landscape_architect%29.
  18. [S58] Wikipedia, online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki //Marjorie_Sewell_Cautley.
  19. [S28] Website, online The Cultural Landscape Foundation. <http://tclf.org/content/marjorie-sewell-cautley
  20. [S17] Bergen Record, 5 Feb 1980, pg. B21.
  21. [S58] Wikipedia, online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki //Andrew_J._Thomas.