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Entrepreneurial Vernacular

Developers' Subdivisions in the 1920s

Carolyn S. Loeb

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During the 1920s, enterprising realtors, housing professionals, and builders developed the models that became the inspiration for the subdivision tract housing now commonplace in the U.S.

Originally published in 2001. Suburban subdivisions of individual family homes are so familiar a part of the American landscape that it is hard to imagine a time when they were not common in the U. S. The shift to large-scale speculative subdivisions is usually attributed to the period after World War II. In Entrepreneurial Vernacular: Developers' Subdivisions in the 1920s, Carolyn S. Loeb shows that the...

During the 1920s, enterprising realtors, housing professionals, and builders developed the models that became the inspiration for the subdivision tract housing now commonplace in the U.S.

Originally published in 2001. Suburban subdivisions of individual family homes are so familiar a part of the American landscape that it is hard to imagine a time when they were not common in the U. S. The shift to large-scale speculative subdivisions is usually attributed to the period after World War II. In Entrepreneurial Vernacular: Developers' Subdivisions in the 1920s, Carolyn S. Loeb shows that the precedents for this change in single-family home design were the result of concerted efforts by entrepreneurial realtors and other housing professionals during the 1920s. In her discussion of the historical and structural forces that propelled this change, Loeb focuses on three typical speculative subdivisions of the 1920s and on the realtors, architects, and building-craftsmen who designed and constructed them. These examples highlight the "shared set of planning and design concerns" that animated realtors (whom Loeb sees as having played the "key role" in this process) and the network of housing experts with whom they associated. Decentralized and loosely coordinated, this network promoted home ownership through flexible strategies of design, planning, financing, and construction which the author describes as a new and "entrepreneurial" vernacular.

Reviews

Reviews

Loeb should be applauded for telling a complicated story. She successfully makes the realtors, architects, and building-craftsmen agents of physical growth. Loeb also uses careful case studies, but moves beyond them to try to tell a wider story.

Loeb's useful concept of entrepreneurial vernacular may encourage scholars to pay more attention to the builders and tradesmen whose activities were important in themselves and also constitute an important arena in which the histories of business, labor, and cities intersect.

Loeb's book helps us understand the roots of a significant trend in American housing after World War II... It is well organized and well written.

Entrepreneurial Vernacular is certainly the best and most comprehensive book I have read about the design and development of the modern, large-scale housing subdivision.

A solid contribution to our understanding of how the suburban tract house came to dominate American housing in the twentieth century.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
296
ISBN
9781421433288
Illustration Description
39 halftones, 12 line drawings
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction. The Entrepreneurial Vernacular Subdivision
Part I. Three Subdivisions and Their Builders
Chapter 1: The Ford Homes: The Case of the Borrowed Builders
Ch

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction. The Entrepreneurial Vernacular Subdivision
Part I. Three Subdivisions and Their Builders
Chapter 1: The Ford Homes: The Case of the Borrowed Builders
Chapter 2: Brightmoor: The Case of the Absent Architect
Chapter 3: Westwood Highlands: The Rise of the Realtor
Part II. Agency, From, and Meaning
Chapter 4: The Home-Ownership Network: Constructing Community
Chapter 5: Architectural Style: The Charm of Continuity
Conclusion. Architecture as Social Process
Notes
Bibliographical Note
Illustration Credits
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Carolyn S. Loeb

Carolyn S. Loeb is an associate professor of art history at Central Michigan University and a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Urban America.