Archives On The Air 201: Building The Jersey Homesteads—Alfred Kastner Papers

Jun 23, 2020

Relocating industry from congested cities to rural areas was one of many Depression-era social experiments by the federal government.

Jersey Homesteads in New Jersey was one of those experiments.

It was a cooperative holding a farm, factory, and retail stores. Its purpose was to resettle urban Jewish garment workers.

In 1935, German-born architect Alfred Kastner designed the structures. Though austere, his designs had elegant touches and modern conveniences.

But by 1939 farm and factory didn't meet quotas. And disputes arose between those doing the farming and factory work.

It was declared it failure in 1939. Sadly, the ideal community never materialized.

Learn more in the Alfred Kastner papers at UW's American Heritage Center.