Preservation Month: Greenbelt's Housing

The month of May is Historic Preservation Month! Let's talk about the types of homes in historic #Greenbelt, Maryland! The original 1937 houses and apartment buildings remain. Influenced by Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities, they were grouped aesthetically with courts to catch prevailing breezes.

There were four types of houses in Greenbelt: Cinder block, Brick, Defense and Parkbelt. Cinder block houses (our Historic House is one) are 44% of the existing original 1937 houses. They are considered International Style and influenced by Modernist functionalism philosophy.

Like the cinder block houses, the 1937 brick houses were also two-story homes. They make up 51% of historic #Greenbelt houses. The brick houses have gabled roofs instead of the flat ones of the cinder block houses.

Also part of the original 1937 housing in Greenbelt were 12 apartment buildings with similar Art Deco/International styles as the cinder block homes. Previously considered "industrial" materials such as glass blocks and steel sash casement windows were used.

In 1941, frame "Defense" houses were constructed in response to WWII demand. After the war, the Greenbelt Veterans Housing Corp. formed to buy them from the federal gov't in 1952. This group became GHI, Greenbelt's housing cooperative.

#Modernism #community #NewDeal #Greenbelt #architecture #1930s #historicpreservation #preservation #artdeco #house

Visitor Information

Historic House


The Museum is currently closed with all staff working remotely, but check our blog and join us as we #MuseumFromHome

10B Crescent Rd.

Greenbelt, MD 20770

Open Sundays 1-5 pm

Admission $5 or under

Contact us to visit or book  tours on other days!

Exhibition Gallery


Lenore Thomas Straus Exhibit

Greenbelt Community Center

15 Crescent Rd. 

Greenbelt, MD 20770

Open M-Sat 9am-10pm, 

Sundays 10am-7pm

Greenbelt Museum Office

15 Crescent Road

Greenbelt, Maryland 20770


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Preserving and sharing the New Deal history of an experimental planned community built by FDR in suburban Maryland in 1937 and still thriving today.