Wheel Estate: The Rise and Decline of Mobile Homes

Allan D. Wallis, Author Oxford University Press, USA $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-19-506183-3
With 12 million Americans sheltered in mobile homes because of scarce affordable housing, Wallis, who teaches environmental design at the University of Colorado, recalls the origins of the travel trailers of the 1920s and '30s, their adaptation as emergency housing for Depression-era and WW II workers, and their development into year-round communities of diverse architectural styles on sizable lots. He confirms that young families and retirees alike appear to value the low cost, easy maintenance and services of neighborly park living. But as the author points out in this excellent and profusely illustrated history, prejudicial zoning, building agencies, and banking and insurance interests have restricted the development of mobile homes and their locations. He concludes that only freedom to pursue innovations (e.g., ``grannie flats,'' all-rental parks) will likely prevent these unique abodes from being absorbed into the general housing industry. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-8018-5641-9
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