of Mill Brook
Mill Brook Community was conceived in 1933 and
built during the 1940s as the Community of Green
Acres. A part of this history was described in
a paper written by Mill Brook resident Ellen K.
Popper in 1994 entitled "Living With the
Automobile: Variations on the Radburn Idea."
The following excerpt of that paper is published
here with Ms. Popper's permission. If you have
information about the history of Mill Brook, please
e-mail the Civic Association. The project was
planned in 1933 by Clarence Stein, a town planner,
for 350 acres of flat land on a former airfield
in Valley Stream, just east of the New York City
border. The plan, conceived as a method of 'priming
the pump' to get the building industry going during
the Depression, "was to provide dwellings
for 18,000 people and . . . to fulfill a primary
objective of giving employment." The project
was never built, according to Stein, because "a
large government is slow of action and its machinery
complicated." Three years later, Irwin S.
Chanin, a powerful private developer who had built
the Majestic apartment building on Centra Park
West at 71st Street and the Century on Central
Park West at 62nd Street announced plans to build
Green Acres, a suburban development of 1,800 single-family
homes -- one-tenth the density of Stein's plan
-- and a large shopping center on the same 350-acre
site in Valley Stream...
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