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Neocolonial Homes for 1950s-1960s America

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Neoeclectic Homes in Suburbia
Historic 1950s black and white photo of unlandscaped tract housing under construction.

A typical 1950 suburban development finishing construction.

Photo © Lambert/Getty Images

The Post-War Housing Boom

After World War II and the Great Depression, the United States was ready for a growth spurt. Between 1947 and 1959 family income rose nearly 80 percent, from $3,000 to $5,400 per year. The American dream was affordable and achievable—a car, a family, and home ownership. Popular house styles, like the Neocolonials in this series, were a mix of old traditions and modernity.

The Neos

Most historic styles can be reinvented into new, or "Neo," home designs. According to McAlester's Field Guide to American Houses, Neocolonials are a type of neoeclectic house style. The plans in this picture gallery are for houses larger than Minimal-Traditionals, Ranches, and Cape Cods, but somewhat smaller than the Neocolonial, Neo-Colonial, or Builder's Colonial houses built at the end of the 1960s and beyond.

As you look through these plans, consider that the neocolonial house—once the new kid on the block—may now be worthy of preservation and historic restoration.

Neocolonial Floor Plans From the 1950s and 1960s

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Sources:

  • "Income of Families and Persons in the United States: 1969," Current Population Reports: Consumer Income, Bureau of the Census, Series P-60, No. 35, January 5, 1961, p. 1. PDF online. [accessed May 2, 2012].
  • Martin, Sara K. et al. Post-World War II Residential Architecture in Maine: A Guide for Surveyors. Maine Historic Preservation Commission, 2008–2009. PDF online [accessed May 2, 2012].
  • McAlester, Virginia and Lee. Field Guide to American Houses. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1984.
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