400 Years of Single-Family Homes in America

A data visualization project illustrates the long and varied traditions of American single-family housing.
August 4, 2015, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Stacey Newman

Emily Badger shares insights and lessons about the evolution of the American single-family home from a data visualization project by Pop Chart Lab. Among those lessons: "a sense of why the bland sameness of suburban subdivisions is often criticized. There is tremendous variety, and architectural heritage, in the American single-family home."

Badger also offers a few caveats about the poster. First, the "400-year visual history of the American home focuses on single-family houses, and so the collection skews suburban and rural; there are no apartment buildings here." That omission is especially noteworthy because, that is "the housing type that's home to a majority of American families."

Second, the visualization "doesn't give a full sense of how the scale itself has shifted." The beginning of the article includes a lot more detail on how the growing size of the single-family home is one of the most defining features of its evolution.

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Published on Monday, August 3, 2015 in The Washington Post
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