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.
Entrepreneurial Vernacular: Developers' Subdivisions in the 1920sby Carolyn S. Loeb
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/i>… See more details below
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.
Johns Hopkins University Press
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.
Ann Durkin Keating
Thomas C. Hubka
What People are saying about this
A solid contribution to our understanding of how the suburban tract house came to dominate American housing in the twentieth century.
Meet the Author
Carolyn S. Loeb is an associate professor of art history at Central Michigan University and a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Urban America.
Johns Hopkins University Press
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