The HOUSES that HANFORD BUILT
Links to each letter house are towards the bottom of this page.
See the exhibit titled "ABC Homes" in the
Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science and Technology.
at 95 Lee Boulevard in Richland, WA
See their web site at CREHST
Richland Street Names Informaiton
The following is text taken from:
Report on the
HANFORD ENGINEER WORKS VILLAGE
Office of G. Albin Pherson, Architect-Engineer
GENERAL BUILDING PLANS (page 25 of the report)
November - 1943
ORGANIZATIONS AND ORDER OF WORK
Divisions and Procedure
In planning and designing the Hanford Engineer Works Village, a variety of specialized tasks had to
be carried on simultaneously. Divisions were therefore established for specific technical work: the
architectural drafting division, the engineering division, the site planning division, the topographical
survey crew, and the office workers. For the same reason, each division found it necessary to
departmentalize, to divide the work within the larger organization. The design office, for example,
split in two, one part concerned with existing buildings, the other part with new construction.
Surveys of several kinds could thus be made at the same time as production drawings. Coordinating the various divisions and their numerous tasks was the Architect-Engineer, who acted as liaison man between the contracting parties, as head of the design office, and as supervisor of the divisions just mentioned.
The design and drafting division cooperated as closely as possible with the various groups making
their surveys and plans. Out of agreements reached at group conferences came the directives from the duPont company; these in turn gave rise to the series of preliminary plans of the
Architect-Engineer. These plans were then returned to the design division of the duPont Company for their approval. Thus the close relationship of these two groups (their offices were maintained
throughout the design period in the same building - the High School at Pasco, WA) was a great aid in the crystallization of schemes for individual buildings, and naturally a great time saver. This arrangement also permitted the concurrent study of new types of buildings and the making of
working drawings, for as soon as a building had received final approval the working drawings were
begun. The simultaneous development of all projects was limited, however by a shortage of highly
skilled draftsmen. Each man had to be not a mere draftsman, but an architect for his own job. He
almost constituted a small architectural office by himself. Draftsmen of this caliber were difficult to
obtain, in spite of the wages offered. So a flexible squad arrangements was set up for each job and
supervised by the Architect-Engineer and the chief Draftsman, an arrangement that provided
practical and efficient.
Schedule of Work
It was necessary, however, to schedule the individual jobs so that working drawings would reach the
construction organizations as they were needed. Such a schedule was worked out by the Design
Division of the duPont Company, and closely followed throughout the project. First priority was given to housing because of the multiplicity of units, and because of the urgent need for immediate living quarters form some of the workers. For the latter purpose, some of the existing houses were used. Otherwise, the designs and working drawings for the housing units, as stated in the Purchase Order of April 25, 1943, were called for seven days after the letter of authorization. By working long
hours this deadline was met. Before the topographical survey was finished, the basic housing units
were in blueprint ready for the contractor.
Type and Distribution of Units
In the final housing plans, the dwellings are divided into a number of types, each assigned a unit
letter. Although each type has a basic plan, some variety was achieved by changing exterior siding
material, or altering the mass of the building, to a slight degree, or the roof line, or some other
detail. Basically, the houses were grouped according to number of bedrooms: 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom units.
The 1 bedroom units, known as the "I" unit, is similar to the familiar row house. The building consists of eight separate 1 bedroom apartments, each two apartments having a common vestibule entered directly from the street. [NOTE: These apartments were later replace in the village plans by Prefabricated houses which will be described in a later supplement.]
The 2 bedroom unit, known as the "B" unit, is a duplex house of one story.
The 3 bedroom or "A" unit, also a duplex, is a two story building, whereas the "E", "F", and "H" types are single family houses.
Also for the single families are the "D" and "G" types, which have 4 bedrooms.
Besides these types, there are the dormitories, which consist of rooms opening off a public hall. For persons without families, the "J" unit is for women, the "K" unit for men. For non residents, for transients, or for people awaiting assignment of dwellings there is a Transient Quarters building, in most respects like a hotel. The capacity of this building is naturally not included in the Village population estimates.
After the above classification of units had been established, the number of units for each
classification had to be estimated on the basis of a probable initial population of 7750.
The relation of the estimated total number of families with the total number of each main type is
particularly close. Since the empirical test is yet to come, the number of units is of course rounded
off. At the time of this planning, considerable use was to be made of existing buildings. Of the
houses, only 19 out of an estimated 75 actually proved useful.
Another fact of interest is the high percentage of family dwellings. As mentioned earlier in the
report, an unusually large proportion of the employees of the Hanford Engineer Works was to be in
the supervisor or executive class. This class is likely to be more mature, to have families, and to be more established. To attract and hold these employees, quarters were needed that would be
comparable, at least in size, to what their occupants had been accustomed.
It is worth noting that the houses projected for future construction are mainly of the smaller unit
and the dormitory type. The initial units will thus house the most stable group, the executives and
highly skilled workmen. This group will probably not expand greatly, or at least not at the same rate
as the other workers. The increase of the various units is increased for a population of 16,000.
The planned housing increase for the greater population was at first in the duplex and apartment or
row type houses. Later, when the Prefabricated units were considered, they replaced many of the
duplexes and all the apartment buildings. All these additions suggest that the later population
increases will be among the less skilled workmen.
It is also obvious that the "A" house and the "B" house were originally planned as the basic family
type. Later the Prefabricated House was given significance as a basic type. For the estimated initial population of 7750, the "A" and "B" types make up 1300 of the total 1996 units planned; in the
expanded scheme of 16,000 [population], they form 1856 of the total 3800 units.
General Remarks on the Single and duplex Houses
Units "A" to "H" ... complete the list of single and duplex houses planned at present
for the project. The types are predicated on the needs of size and occupancy. They are as similar in other respects as could be planned so that no one might feel himself slighted in the quality of
housing. The smallest house has a proportionate share of the things considered vital to good living.
Indeed, the space for general requirements is relatively greater in the smaller houses, for all types
have almost the same area for living room and dining room. All types, regardless of the number of
occupants, have the same bathroom facilities. Thus, the space in the smaller houses is actually greater per person than in the larger houses. The smaller kitchens in the "B" units would thus be justified in relation to the probably number of users and the actual amount of food there prepared.
These statements are not an attempt to rationalize the design of the houses, but an effort to show
that the planners had a definitely democratic attitude in the planning of the houses. Since the whole
venture is a use of public monies, such an attitude is relevant to a high degree and should interest the public. Taken into account also was the necessity for maintaining a high morale among workers
transplanted to what will probably seem a strange country. High morale cannot be achieved by
crowding skilled and veteran workers into inadequate dwellings. Neither can it be predicted upon
salary, position or [class] distinction. No village can eliminate such distinctions entirely for it is the
American tradition to aspire to executive status and where such men locate will undoubtedly be
considered favored territory; but in so far as the planners could arrange these matters, all types of
houses scattered throughout the project. The "D" and the "G" units are fairly closely grouped only
because they are two few to be distributed effectively.
Go to a page where you can see a small sketch of ALL houses
and click the one you want to view OR click a letter below.
1-BR Prefab ~~
2-BR Prefab ~~
2 BR Pre-Cut ~~
3 BR Pre-Cut
3 BR Ranch ~~
4 BR Ranch
Apartments & Dorms
High School Building ~~
page started: 12/02/98
page updated: 09/02/02
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