Large numbers of post-World War II houses located in cities, towns, suburbs, and rural areas are potentially eligible--or may soon become eligible--for listing in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places (National Register), by virtue of their age as well as other attributes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and state departments of transportation (DOTs) must take into account, primarily through a survey, the effects that their transportation projects may have on properties that are eligible for listing in the National Register, pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Properties eligible for listing in the National Register are also protected under Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. In light of the large and steadily increasing numbers of post-World War II single family houses that are potentially affected by highway construction projects, developing an effective framework for determining National Register eligibility and non-eligibility is critical. As post-World War II houses and suburbs approach 50 years of age, state DOTs are including these properties in local surveys and evaluating them according to National Register criteria; individual houses as well as neighborhoods from this period are already listed in the National Register. Because of the passage of time, the number of post-World War II properties potentially eligible for listing in the National Register will increase dramatically in the next decade, presenting a major challenge to decision makers. Post-World War II housing is ubiquitous across the country, consisting of millions of properties. Research is needed to develop a model regional or state historic context (a compilation of information about historic properties that share a common theme, geographic area, and time period) that can provide a standard framework for state DOTs to use to effectively and efficiently evaluate the National Register eligibility of post-World War II housing. Such a model context would facilitate interagency cooperation and decisionmaking, resulting in lower future project costs and expedited project schedules.
The objectives of this research are to (1) develop a methodology for identifying and evaluating the National Register eligibility and non-eligibility of (a) post-World War II single family housing built between 1946 and 1975 that is not part of a planned or unplanned subdivision or neighborhood and (b) post-World War II single family housing developments built between 1946 and 1975 as a planned or unplanned subdivision or neighborhood; (2) develop a model historic context for a state or region for these types of properties; and (3) apply and test the model historic context in a state or region to demonstrate its utility to state DOTs and state historic preservation offices.
The final report is available HERE.
A presentation containing an overview of the project is available HERE.