A Preliminary Identification of Historic Postwar Residential Subdivisions in San Antonio, 1945 to 1964 (2004)
Thesis Proposal by Imogen Billings Cooper
Following World War II, American cities underwent a radical change in their urban form. The former suburbs of the central cities, which had been made up of bedroom communities, and functioned as extensions of the city’s residential land use pattern, changed dramatically. This thesis examines the history and design of the American postwar residential subdivision and suggests that many have a heritage of logical community planning techniques, architecture, and landscape design. Using San Antonio as an example, and a time frame of 1945 to 1964, the study identifies four residential subdivisions that are representative of their development history, location in the community, and their design. The thesis also suggests that these four subdivisions may be historically significant and merit historic district designation. Last, the thesis indicates that the identification of historic postwar residential subdivisions may be a key to more effective management of urban growth. An understanding of postwar suburban history can provide insight to preservationists and city planners for better preservation and planning of older suburban areas.