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A Comparison of Pre-and Post WWII Suburbs in Reno, Nevada
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Following World War II, a profound shift occurred in the design of American suburbs. This thesis explores the differences between American suburbs constructed immediately prior to and following World War II. Certain characteristics of American suburbs thought to be diagnostic of pre and postwar suburbs are analyzed and several factors are identified as potential significant influences on suburban design. In order to understand how these influences are manifested in American suburbs, a pre-war subdivision, the New Sunnyside Addition, and the Westfield Village, a postwar tract-home development in Reno, Nevada are compared and contrasted utilizing Classification and Regression (CART) tree analysis. Architectural traits and design aspects were analyzed in order to determine which characteristics best define the subdivisions, and to determine the main differences between the suburbs examined. The results of the analysis of these traits are discussed in terms of defining characteristics of both subdivisions, and similarities and differences between the New Sunnyside Addition and Westfield Village are delineated. Possible reasons for these differences are explored, including the adoption of the automobile, the socio-economic status of the residents, and the building methods utilized. It is proposed, however, that perhaps the greatest influence on suburban design during the mid-twentieth century has been the role of the Federal Housing Administration.