Goodyear Heights is often cited in reference to the Garden City Movement, a design movement which originated in England during the mid-to-late 19th century and gradually spread to America. The movement began with enlightened English industrial developments like Lever Brothers’ Port Sunlight and Cadbury’s Bournville, later coming into its own with the establishment of Parker & Unwin’s landmark Letchworth Garden City, located about 35 miles outside of London.

The concept of worker housing and garden cities was generally inspired by ideas generated within the English Arts & Crafts Movement, and by writers such as William Morris—who believe that everyone should have access to nature, attractive and useful housing and a clean environment—as opposed to the squalid, dirty and cramped housing that the Industrial Revolution had forced upon so many workers.

In the United States, some of these ideas led to establishment of factory towns like Pullman - near Chicago, Indian Hill – in Worcester, MA, and Koehler, WI. At first, these concepts - as translated to America - put space, orderliness and serviceability as their primary concerns, with housing standardized to a fair degree and overall planning often based on a normal street grid.

By the time Warren Manning was designing Goodyear Heights in 1912-1913, the Garden City Movement had transformed this initial vision, to include attractive parks and vistas, irregular, winding street layouts, better and more attractive house designs and other amenities that were integrated into a unified whole. The neighborhood's first architects, Mann & MacNeille of New York, had traveled to English towns like Bourneville and Port Sunlight, and used what they had learned to design attractive yet affordable homes for Frank Seiberling's landmark development.

This “effect of the whole” is a primary element in shaping Goodyear Heights’ historic character; while few, if any individual houses might qualify for inclusion on The National Register of Historic Places, the total combination of solid, quality architecture, highly original street layout and integration of parks and other public spaces into the whole makes the neighborhood historic and significant. These elements, combined with its size, the national reputation of its designer and also its noted architects - Mann & MacNeille of New York City (Phase 1) and George H. Schwann of Pittsburgh (Phase 2) set it apart from other neighborhoods. This is why Goodyear Heights has been singled out in many books and publications over the years, and has long been recognized as being among the very best of its type in America.


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