Chicagoland Prize Homes

Map of Prize Homes

The Depression and World War II led to pent-up demand for housing.  In the immediate aftermath of World War II, when millions of soldiers returned home, married, and started families, Americans sought affordable, attractive houses built on a comparatively small scale, so as to be affordable for the average family.  

Even with the square footage limitations set by the contest, the prize-winning houses were larger than the subsequent eligibility standards set by the Federal Housing Authority, which established down-payment free loans under the G.I. Bill. That may be one reason why few were built, and why, of those that were built, the smaller houses were the most likely to be demolished or modified in later years.

Our map shows sketches of the original houses juxtaposed with contemporary photos. The alterations indicate how much American housing standards have changed, as what was once an ample house has proved, most of the time, to be too small and in need of replacement or enlargement.

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