Beck’s Contribution to Modern Day Suburban Planning

  • May 13, 2015

Digging in our history vaults for a moment…

In 1942, Beck was actively helping with the war effort by constructing prefab housing for the United States rapidly expanding military population. A fun timed publicity stunt, the 58-minute house, pit two Beck teams against each other in a race to see who could construct an entire full-sized two-bedroom, one-bathroom house – complete with living room, dining room and kitchen – in less than one hour. The winning time was 57 minutes, 58 seconds. The successful competition resulted in a series of government contracts for Beck.

What’s lost in this story is the reason for the publicity stunt: The WPA sponsored the event in an effort to draw attention to the projects resulting from the Lanham Act of 1940, including the 58-minute house built in the new Avion Village development in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Read more on this remarkable housing development that has not only stood the test of time, but scholars claim “established a prototype of Texas communal living that evolved into the middle-class planned suburban communities we know today.”

We’re proud to have been a part of a project that influenced the concept of community not only in Texas, but worldwide.