Buckman was a housing development undertaken by the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet, which operated in part as a US Federal Housing Corporation. The purpose of these corporations was to provide housing for workers near ship building facilities and other industries considered critical to the war effort. Buckman was a product of the "Emergency Fleet Corporation." Text below was excerpted from a 1920 text titled "The American City."
Our first impression of Buckman is its good appearance. It looks inviting. The approach to it follows a slight elevation from the main thoroughfare along clean, well-paved streets of ample width for two-way traffic. The street curves gently and descends over a hill to join a main traffic highway that surrounds the village. The radiating roads are narrower, with wider grass plats in front of the houses, which are set no nearer to those opposite than houses on the principal thoroughfares. From every point we find an attractive picture, a vista. There is no apparent straining for such effects — they are the obvious result of using natural advantages and simple expedients of plotting. The houses, streets and plantings satisfy the eye.
The houses are attractive not only as individual units, but as groups; and the relation of the whole development to its surroundings is pleasant. There is variety, due almost entirely to the orientation and grouping of buildings, for there is but little variation from a few standard types of house plan. Monotony is avoided by simple devices. Here the houses are set close to the street at each end, and in the middle they are set farther back. There they form three sides of a small rectangle enclosing a recreation center or park. From the standpoint of size, buildings on opposite sides of a street are balanced. The stores are conveniently placed at the confluence of principal streets, at the entrance to the village. We observe how slight changes in trim, in gables and dormers have given individuality and variety to the whole project. Throughout there has been maintained a uniform color tone in which soft shades avoid all suggestion of newness. It seems sure that Buckman has been occupied for a long time, and yet scarcely more than a year ago it was tilled farm land.
At that time another stretch of similar farm land a few miles to the north could be reached only in a boat across a muddy creek. To-day it is Yorkship Village, the largest completed government project.