The Ridgewood neighborhood, platted in 1914, was one of the first
fully planned and restricted suburbs in the United States. Its
innovative developer, Springfield native Harry s. Kissell, was among
a small group of nationally acclaimed real estate developers who, in
the early twentieth century, created the modern suburb as we know
it today. Their developments offered spacious lots in park-like
settings; curvilinear, paved roads; utilities, and sewers. They also
ushered in the practice of deed restrictions, which were both
protective and exclusionary. Harry Kissell went on to become
president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards in 1931.
During his tenure, he conceived the idea for the Federal Home Loan
Banking system, which, during the Great Depression, saved millions
of Americans from foreclosure and permanently opened up the
possibility of home ownership to the middle class.