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What a Home Should Be is the title of a large 96 page brochure published by the National Plan Service in 1957.

This brochure is often lacking from most architectural libraries. The Housing and Home Finance Agency at the request of the Federal Government had called for a Women’s Congress to be held in Washington, D.C. to help them figure out what the requirements were for housing as seen through the homemaker’s eye.

As a result, the National Retail Lumber Dealers Association commissioned several architects for Better Home Building Plans. This brochure was made available to the home buying public with the scope of updating  their vision of the ideal all American Home.

After making a selection of any of the models described, a set of blue prints could be ordered and building could begin. This was the Era of cars with fins and rock ‘n roll and nearly all families had one car. The brochure is an idealized standard of what most American families would want in a house built in the suburbs, in order to be part of the American dream in an age when a strong economy made it possible for the average Joe Doe to obtain this much valued symbol of general well being.

The pages we will show here might bring up memories or tears for some, laughs or ridicule by others, but are invaluable for the study of what the characteristics were for middle class housing during that decade.