Marketing Modernism in the D.C. Suburbs

Images from "The Greatest Publicity Stunt Available to Developers’

The Vernacular Architecture Forum’s 2010 Washington conference is taking shape and the paper sessions have  been announced. My paper,  “The Greatest Publicity Stunt Available to Developers”: Washington’s 1939 World’s Fair Home, is scheduled for the 10:30 session, “Marketing Modernism”. This post has more historical and contemporary images of the 1939 World’s Fair Home built in Silver Spring, just north of the D.C. line.

From the paper abstract: By 1939 suburban subdivisions were a familiar element in the American landscape. The spurious suburb created in the 1939 New York World’s Fair Town of Tomorrow offered visitors a sampler of tradition and innovation packaged for consumers just beginning to emerge from the depths of economic depression. Shortly before the Fair opened in the spring of 1939 Washington, D.C., subdivider and developer Garden Homes, Inc., secured the rights to use the Fair Corporation’s name and the plans to one of the 15 demonstration homes from the Town of Tomorrow. Designed by New York architects Godwin, Thompson and Patterson and sponsored by the Johns-Manville Corporation, House No. 15, the Long Island Colonial Home, became Garden Homes’ 1939 marketing centerpiece in Northwood Park, the Silver Spring, Maryland, subdivision located less than three miles north of the District of Columbia.

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