From its earliest incarnation as Fruit, Garden, and Home to its long-standing run as Better Homes & Gardens, this All-American publication has provided generations of homemakers with information and how-to instruction on everything from growing vegetables to offering house plans to the middle of the great Middle Class.
In issues throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, BHG offered a series of house plans starting with the Bild-Cost home plans and later the Five Star Plans of the 1940s and 50s.
The Five Star Plans shown here were collected in a special publication in 1960 and represent a cross-section of American residential architecture for the decade of the 1950s. They include the wide ranch-style and rambler types with both modern and traditional details, streamlined 50s contemporaries, split levels, and updated Colonials.
By 1960, the home sizes began to increase. No longer constricted by a stalled economy, a World War, or the retrenching of the Post-War period (the Korean War was and remains a police action), the economy was enjoying the fruits of a highly skilled and educated work force and preeminence among the nations of the world. It was literally ours for the asking (or taking depending on your political viewpoint). Millions of American families lived in modern homes of 1200 sf on average, and a configuration of three bedrooms and two bathrooms was increasingly considered necessary.
Garages and carports were firmly and decidedly attached to most plans. No longer were they an after thought, and double car garages were seen more frequently.
Builders began constructing larger tracts of homes and within a decade had shifted from the small half-dozen house concept to entire planned communities on a giant scale replete with schools, stores, and services ... often predicated on cheap energy and the automobile. This sat very well with the majority of Americans who had been in love with the car since the first one showed up on the Main Street of their little burg.
© 2011 — Mid Century Home Style