Roosevelt (Jersey Homesteads), United States, North America
Year1906latitude: 40° 13'
longitude: -74° 28'
Initiator(s)Franklin Roosevelt
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Benjamin Brown
Design organization
Inhabitants960 (2000)
Target population
Town website
Town related links
Literature- None

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
Roosevelt was originally called Jersey Homesteads, and was created during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. The town was home to a cooperative farming and manufacturing project. The project fell under the discretion of the Resettlement Administration, but was conceived and largely planned out by Benjamin Brown. Farmland in central New Jersey was purchased by Brown. Construction started around 1936. Soon after there were 150 homes and various public facilities in place. The plan was to construct 50 more homes eventually. The economy of the town consisted of a garment factory and a farm. Albert Einstein gave the town his political and moral support. Artist Ben Shahn lived in the town and painted a mural.

Escape poverty Show that cooperative management can work Social experiment: "Brown envisioned Jersey Homesteads as a model for many similar communities in which Eastern European Jewish culture and the Yiddish language could be preserved." Arthur Shapiro

David Dubinsky and the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union opposed the project arguing that the factory town would cause unions to lose their power over wages. Political opposition came from those who thought too much money was being spent on the project, as well as those opposed to the New Deal in general.

The Jersey Homesteads cooperative didn't last through World War II. It failed for a number of reasons. The town of Roosevelt is a historic landmark.


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