Buckingham Apartment Complex, Bounded by George Mason Drive, Henderson, Glebe, & Pershing Roads, Arlington, Arlington County, VA
Significance: Buckingham, a garden apartment complex constructed between 1937 and 1953 in Arlington, Virginia, is a nationally significant example of the application of pioneering principles of garden city planning to a large-scale, planned residential community. These principles include low-density superblocks, curving streets, separation of automobiles and pedestrians, shallow building plans allowing improved light and ventilation, and landscaped common spaces designed around the apartments forming a continuous park. Buckingham was the last design of Henry Wright, the leader and pioneer of the garden city movement responsible for many of its seminal projects in the 1920s and 1930s. Buckingham had a significant historical role in the development of affordable, well-planned garden communities, and through its success and acceptance subsequently effected housing policy in the United States. The developer, Allie Freed, chairman of the Committee for Economic Recovery, sought to promote economic recovery through the construction of large-scale privately financed housing developments, and attempted reform the building industry by employing production techniques of the automobile industry including pioneer uses of prefabrication. The location of Buckingham near the Nation's Capital, provided the development the exposure and political awareness necessary to influence housing developments nationwide.
Survey number: HABS VA-1339
Building/structure dates: 1937-1953 Initial Construction