3rd Annual Return to Historic Chicopee

On April 4th, we return to historic Chicopee, Georgia! This marks the third year the Northeast Georgia section of the AIA visits the revolutionary development that was built by Johnson & Johnson in 1926-1927. We will be joined by our colleagues from the landscape (ASLA Georgia), planning, and engineering community to get the big picture about why and how the village came to be from expert tour guides and speakers.

Almost a century ago, the Garden City movement was taking hold of the planning world including Chicopee’s designers Earle Draper and Joseph Sirrine. The movement, which began across the pond in the United Kingdom by Sir Ebenezer Howard, stood on the concept of planning compact, self-sufficient towns surrounded by “green” rural belts and including residences and amenities.

In a sense, Johnson & Johnson’s designers were facing the same questions we as architects, engineers, and developers are facing today. In the grand scheme of things, how can we design a new, cutting edge development that will shape the future of our built environment? In the developer’s minds loomed the challenge of how to complete construction of an entire village in two years. The owner too must have had a reasoning for locating their new mill in relatively unknown Gainesville, Georgia. And the planners, designers, and architects studied the Garden City movement and set their sights on how to build the most modern, light-filled mill facility and create a livable, workable environment in the form of amenities, paved streets, and modern homes for the families of workers.

Looking back, we can see that Chicopee Village was massively successful and enriched the lives of thousands of its occupants. However, to see how progress is made, sometimes it is more important to learn how it happened than what happened.

We intend to visit the now-historic village of Chicopee Mills to find these answers, and hope you will join us on this journey of discovery.

Space is limited for this iconic event; please email contact@aia-nega.com for your spot!


March 23, 2019 | Dana Hensey

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