The history of Chatham Village is rich and varied. It includes a visionary civic organization, the Buhl Foundation, which set in motion the planning of a new village community. It touches historic names like William Pitt and William Penn. And it embraces renowned urban planners Clarence Stein and Henry Wright.
It's a history of progressive design as well—underground electric distribution, clustered homes, a green belt of undeveloped woodlands, and a rich garden-like landscape—in 1932!
And it's a history of a changing, vibrant community molded by the many families and individuals who have called Chatham Village home since its founding.
Although construction of Chatham Village began in 1931, its beginnings trace back to Sir Ebenezer Howard, who initiated the Garden City movement at the turn of the 20th Century in Great Britain. Architects Clarence Stein and Henry Wright brought the Garden City urban planning principles to the United States as they spearheaded new and innovative ideas in community planning. Chatham Village is one of their most famous and successful accomplishments.
In 1932, Chatham Village was not only a new concept but one of the largest construction projects in Pittsburgh. As public interest swelled, people began to take pictures—from ground-breaking though the first public open house in 1932. When residents moved in, the photo documentation continued.
Click here to view our album of historic photos of the Village.
Click here to view a video of historic moments in the Village.
Chatham Village's "First Unit" (the Old Village) was completed in 1932. This film shows courtyards and streetscapes of this new garden community, including typical interior views. It also shows the "Second Unit" (the New Village) under construction in 1935, to be completed in 1936.