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House Plans

of the Mid 20th Century

1951 Weyerhaeuser Rambler Ranch Home Plans 1951Our house plans of the mid 20th century span the period from the later Depression, through WWII and the post-War era to the early 1960s.

Most of us think of mid century homes as modern or "Atomic" but for almost 20 years from 1937 when we pick up where Antique Home Style leaves off (more or less), the plans offered to the middle-class home buyer were often very traditional. Wealthier and more cosmopolitan home owners often favored architect- or designer-styled state-of-the-art homes, but it took almost two decades for that to affect the average buyer.

Though some modern, "Art Deco Streamline" style home plans are seen, the overwhelming preponderance of homes are Colonial influenced. They range from the simplified Modern Colonial or Minimal Traditional to classic Cape Cods.

Americans tended to be forward thinking and favored progressive style but with the Depression and the World War II, they were not inclined to toss tried-and-true styles overboard. Another factor that evidently played to the traditionalists, was a sense that the new Art Deco or Modern styles were somehow faddish. It was common for both magazine writers and featured designers to argue that the modern designs actually had some staying power!

As you go through the years chronologically examining both the house plans and the interiors, you'll see that modern design was slowly assimilated until the mid-50s when there is a sea change in design direction. At that point, a new generation of home buyers starts to make its demands on the market and the mid-century modern — Atomic — style really begins to penetrate the middle class.

We have included plans designers and companies like Hiawatha T. Estes, the National Plan Service and Weyerhauser. They offered small ranch, colonial, and minimal traditional style homes designed for young families, middle-class home buyers, and builders. Kit home companies like Aladdin, Lewis Liberty, and Sterling are also included (despite the diminishing market) because they specialized in the middle of the middle-class market and are good examples of what many home buyers were looking for.

We're always looking for more plans, but if you have an area of particular interest, don't hesitate to drop us a line!

© 2011 Mid Century Home Style