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The American Suburb arose in the mid-nineteenth century as an adjunct to the traditional American city, made possible and practical by public transportation and unhindered land. It separated domestic areas in the city from industrial and commercial areas, allowing them to be linked by arterial streets and with their sidewalks and (often) urban railways. [Vance, Stern]
Stern defines the "Suburb:"
Further, he points out that the suburb "usually assumes one of two basic forms...often these two forms are combined in one suburb":
The new horse-drawn streetcars allowed neighborhoods to be built farther from the center of the city, but they were still extensions of the urban grid and closely tied to the center city.
"The Italian Village area was one of Columbus' first suburbs, annexed to the city of Columbus in 1862. ... Italian Village is an historic district located in the near north side of Columbus adjacent to the central business district."
"Typical Italian Village housing" featured in the "About Italian Village" web page
"In the early 1970s, residents of Italian Village took action against the deteriorating physical condition of the area and the threat of having more and more historic buildings demolished. Residents and property owners, who felt a sense of community and had visions of an improved neighborhood, formed the Italian Village Society in 1972. One year later, the Italian Village Commission was established by Columbus City Council."
(From an old version of "About Italian Village" web page)
As electric streetcars became more widespread, suburbs stretched out farther, but still clustering close to the trolley arteries.
Panorama of Sears houses built in Carlinville, Illinois, as pictured in the 1926 Sears homes catalog
As the automobile rose in popularity and practicality, suburbia adjusted to accomodate it by stretching out in dimensions (for wider streets, space for garages and parking lots) and by stretching out farther from the core city. Better suburbia was designed and controlled to become a semi-self contained urban entity. Larger suburbs proclaimed their semi-independence from the core sity by incorporating as towns or cities in their own right.
"In 1901, the entire area between the two rivers, and roughly King Avenue, became united as the Hamlet of Marble Cliff for the first and last time. In 1902, Marble Cliff detached all but its present area and what was to become, in 1906, a separate village called Grandview Heights. ... The Grandview of today was formed by annexation after 1912, including some Northwest Boulevard tracts after 1920. ...1921 Northwest Boulevard Company ads and articles from the Norwester featured in the History of Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff
"In 1920, the whole area presented a quiet, sedate appearance. After World War II there was a growth spurt that saw many multiple family units built. Industry and shopping centers arose.
"After Grandview became a city in 1931, it did not lose its small town charm. It remained the same in many ways. There is still a close-knit feeling and neighborliness among the people. Few neighborhoods in a city have remained so delightfully unspoiled for nearly a century."
The development proceeded according to the Garden City-inspired plan by landscape architect William Pitkin, Jr., which called for curving streets copiously lined with trees rather than a gridded street layout. This development style gave the oldest district in Upper Arlington (at its southern-most end) its distinctively pleasant, park-like feel, though the lack of roadway predictability can lead to some frustrating driving experiences even for those familiar with the neighborhood. The area features numerous small green spaces.
The southern half of the city, designated as the "Upper Arlington Historic District" (though simply referred to as "Old Arlington"), was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
The post-World War II housing boom led to the development of many new housing tracts north of Lane Avenue. The newer developments took on a much different character from the older core of the city, being mostly organized along normal street grids, and with the usually ranch-style houses being smaller and of more economical construction than the historic stone and brick mini-mansions to the south.
(From the Wikipedia entry on Upper Arlington)
"The founders of Upper Arlington ... purchased the original 840 acres of land in 1913... They envisioned an idealistic residential community for Columbus -- choosing a location of rolling, partly wooded land. The site was convenient for access to the city of Columbus, with two streetcars running from Columbus... Located to the west, the site also enjoyed the west winds which shielded residents from the fumes of Columbus factories.
"The Pitkin Plan, spearheaded by a prominent architect of the same name, encouraged the growth of Upper Arlington to develop differently from the rigid geometrical designs of Columbus. The acreage was divided into lots that stretched along curving streets, with an abundance of trees planted, giving Old Arlington its distinct appearance of today.
"The Pitkin Plan was altered in the 1920s to make way for a business district called the Mallway. Offices for professionals and retail businesses were built along Arlington Avenue during this period.
"By 1939, the population had reached 3,059, at which time growth was temporarily halted by events of World War II. At the end of the war, returning servicemen and their families flocked to suburban areas and, by 1950, Upper Arlington had over 9,000 residents. Steady growth over the ensuing decades raised the population to over 38,000 by 1970, the City's peak.
"The village became the City of Upper Arlington in 1941 and was chartered in 1956 with a council-manager government system, as exists today."
(From the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce "History of Upper Arlington" web page)
The post-WWII building and housing booms vastly expanded suburbia during the '50s (c1947-1963). Suburbia became more dissociated from the core city as industry also moved out of the core city, and the growing availability and use of the automobile made the population more mobile by necessity and will.
The building of interstate highways and urban "outerbelt" highways permitted even more mobility, and facilitated "white flight" from older city cores. Suburbia was permitted to became even less dependant and linked to the core city. Suburbs were (and currently are) built among rural land in a totally rural environment.