Indiana Post-World War II Housing Study
Like many State Historic Preservation Offices across the country, the Indiana SHPO had long wrestled with the idea of post-World War II housing coming of age for eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. Recognizing the dilemma facing SHPO staff, agencies, consultants, and others tasked with identifying, documenting, and evaluating these resources, the SHPO took the initiative to develop comprehensive guidance for resources from this period with the goal of facilitating understanding of the historic context and potential significance of the more than 900,000 housing units constructed in Indiana between 1940 and 1973.
CRA was retained by the SHPO to lead this unique study, undertaking substantial research and analysis to prepare a National Register Multiple Property Document Form (MPDF)–Residential Planning and Development in Indiana, 1940-1973–which provides an extensive context that identifies the societal, economic, cultural, and technological influences on planning, design, construction, and ownership of housing during the period. The document also carefully lays out registration requirements and integrity thresholds for resources to be eligible for the National Register under the MPDF, which were informed by a selective survey of individual houses and historic districts across the state.
The MPDF was listed in the Indiana State Register in January 2018 and accepted by the National Park Service in February 2018. With this, Indiana became the first state in the country to successfully establish a statewide MPDF for post-World War II housing. The completed study provides a valuable tool for those working with historic residential resources from the modern era and allows for a more objective evaluation process rooted in defensible documentation and assessment.