In the early 1900's, several towns in England were built according to a plan calling for a carefully laid out residential community to be surrounded by a protective belt of open land. This concept of town planning was adopted in this country by the Federal Resettlement Administration during the mid-thirties in setting up three model communities.
The three model communities were to be: Greenbelt, Maryland; Greendale, Wisconsin and Greenhills, Ohio. A fourth community to be located in New Jersey was planned, but delayed due to legal complications and never was built.
By the fall of 1935, approximately 6,000 acres of land had been acquired in the northern portion of Springfield Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. Of this total acreage, nearly 800 acres were selected to become residential areas with the remaining land to be left as a protective "greenbelt."
Construction of housing began in early 1936 and by fall of 1937 houses, both single units and apartments, were open for inspection. In January, 1938, the Federal Government started taking applications for homes. A one-bedroom apartment rented for $18.00 per month, while a four bedroom house could be rented for $42.00 per month. Besides homes being built, a community building (to serve as a school and a center for community activities), a stores-management building, an athletic field, a swimming pool and a number of interior parks and play areas were built to serve the community. The homes were for rent only, and to families of employed persons whose income did not exceed $2,500.00 per year. The total cost to the Government for Greenhills was $11,508,000.
At approximately the same time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started work on a flood control project and, in the process, created an 183-acre lake. Eventually, the lake area was dedicated as a 2,021-acre Hamilton County Park named Winton Woods.