Pre-Fabricated Homes

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pre-fabricated housing dates back to the 1830s, when a Chicago builder developed a “balloon frame” method of wood construction to help ease the growing city’s housing shortage. A new exhibit at MoMA, "Home Delivery," looks into the past, present, and future of pre-fabricated homes. It’s on display through October 20, 2008. Barry Bergdoll is co-curator of “Home Delivery” and is Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA; architect Lawrence Sass is professor at M.I.T. and designer of the Digitally Fabricated House for New Orleans on display at MoMA.


Barry Bergdoll and Lawrence Sass

Comments [2]


Your guests might be interested to know that Sears sold thousands of prefab homes via the rails 100 yrs ago, in fact many cities, like Seattle, Portland and even Maplewood are characterized by them.

Your guests might also be surprised to know that the key to success for America's largest home builder -- Toll Bros. -- is "prefab." That's according to an interview I heard about a year ago w its CEO, (w Tom Keane, I believe, Bloomberg Radio) who was lamenting the disappearance of craftsmen but explained that high quality prefab made their market these days.

Aug. 26 2008 01:25 PM
Michael from Manhattan

While the word "jerry-built" does include the idea of cheapness, it also carries a strong connotation of being ramshackle, haphazard. Prefab houses are not ramshackle or haphazard. As you yourself pointed out, they are quite uniform.

Aug. 26 2008 01:19 PM

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