The Greenbelt Communities

In 1936 the US Department of Agriculture began construction on three new communities in the Northeast, Rust Belt and Midwest, known as the Greenbelt Towns. The three towns were Greenbelt, Maryland, Greenhills, Ohio and Greendale, Wisconsin. The term "Greenbelt" was used because each community was surrounded by a "greenbelt" of forests and parks. Greendale now has a bit less of its greenbelt, but much of Greendale is still green, despite attempts to develop the remaining greenspaces.

This Depression era project was created to demonstrate a new kind of suburban community planning, which would combine the advantages of both city and country life; to provide good housing at reasonable rents for moderate income families and to give jobs to thousands of unemployed workers, which would result in a lasting economic benefit to the community where the work was undertaken.

Supposedly, the homes in Greendale were supposed to have basements and the homes in Greenbelt weren't, but somehow the plans got switched and that's why the Greendale Originals only have crawl spaces, not basements. Another legend has it that the money was running short and that's how Greendale's Originals lost their basements.