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Friday, January 3, 2014

Learn About the Small American House Phenomenon at Old Courthouse Jan 21

From Dekalb History Center
After the Bungalow, Before the Ranch:  The Small American House Phenomenon, 1920s-1950s

Dr. Cloues has observed that while most people are familiar with the early 20th-century Craftsman-style Bungalow and many are gaining an appreciation for the mid-20th-century Ranch House, few people are as aware of the importance of the houses built from the 1920s to the 1950s – particularly the many small and seemingly simple one or one-and-a-half story houses in modest Colonial, English, or plain styles.  And yet, as Dr. Cloues will show, these “second-child-in-a-three-child-family” houses were quite revolutionary in their time – quietly revolutionary, he adds, but revolutionary nonetheless.  They represent profound changes in the way American houses were designed and built in the 20th century, in response to economic challenges, new technologies, and changing family circumstances, and in spite of their differences in appearance, they all share a common architectural heritage.  Using examples primarily from Decatur and DeKalb County, Dr. Cloues will show how these small and seemingly simple houses form an important chapter in the history of American houses.


Dr. Cloues (who prefers to be called “Richard”) has a Ph.D. in architectural history and historic preservation from Cornell University.  He worked at the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office for 34 years, retiring in June 2012.  During his career, he contributed to studies of Georgia’s vernacular houses, African-American historic places, historic landscapes, 20th-century suburbs, the Ranch House, and the Split-Level House.  He lives with his wife Judy and too many cats near Stone Mountain.  His three children all live and work in the Atlanta metropolitan area; one of them lives in a 1938 small American house in Decatur.

Free -  bring your lunch!

Tuesday, January 21, noon to 1:00 p.m.

Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur GA 30030, Second Floor, Superior Courtroom.
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photo credit: D.G. Whitefield

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