Greenbelt is a suburb of Washington, D.C., located in Prince George’s County. With a stop on the Metro’s Green Line and proximity to four major highways (including the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and the Capital Beltway), Greenbelt is unusually accessible.
Greenbelt was created in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration, as part of the “New Deal.” Modeled after European “garden cities” of that era, it was one of just three “greenbelt” towns created inside a ring of woodlands. The towns were designed to provide work for the unemployed, affordable housing for low-income workers, and as a model for future town planning in America.
The 1,600 housing units built by the federal government were operated as rental units until in 1952 they were sold to a housing cooperative formed by the residents – the co-op now known as Greenbelt Homes, Inc.
Visit the Greenbelt Museum website for lots more about Greenbelt’s unique history.
Called one of “10 Towns that Changed America” in a PBS documentary
Greenbelt’s primary hub of activity is Roosevelt Center, home of the newly restored (and city-owned) Old Greenbelt Theatre, live music, poetry and more at the New Deal Café, and live theater at the Greenbelt Arts Center, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the year. The Center also features a cooperative grocery store, restaurants and other businesses. Adjacent to Roosevelt Center are the Community Center, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Greenbelt Museum, and Library.
As Greenbelt has expanded to include new housing and commercial areas just outside of the historic core, Greenbelt still maintains its small-town atmosphere, parks, playgrounds, cooperative spirit and some of the most distinctive and affordable housing in the Washington area.