Union Park fairgrounds was a popular venue for sports and amusements, and Buffalo Bill starred there in 1916. Responding to a housing shortage for wartime shipbuilders, U.S. Shipping Board officials met with Wilmingtonians in 1918 to plan a community of 506 rental homes on the fifty-acre site. The architects, with town planner Nolen (who had designed Overlook Colony, BR5), laid out curving streets and designed homes using just five different floor plans. Monotony was avoided by gables, setbacks, and intelligent use of materials: varied brick bonds, tile roofs, stucco walls. The results, embodying the principles of the English Garden Suburb of the early twentieth century, have ever since been hailed for successful design. Union Park Gardens properties were auctioned off in 1922, and most homes have since been altered, with some dilution of their original character. Neighborhood associations have been vital here and helped prevent the proposed construction of I-95 down Bancroft Parkway.
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Union Park Gardens
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