SC&A has installed a new exhibit entitled “Exploring Suburbia: Housing and Transportation in George Mason University Libraries Special Collections & Archives”.
Suburbs are residential or mixed-use areas, either existing as outlying parts of cities or urban areas or as separate residential communities within commuting distance of a city.
The suburb first developed on a large scale in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of improved rail and road infrastructure. With the advent of the suburb, came the concept of commuting, or traveling by a mode of transport (train, trolley, automobile, boat, etc.) to and from a place of employment. In general, suburbs have lower population densities than inner city neighborhoods, and most of their residents commute to cities.
This exhibition looks at four areas with regard to the rise of suburbia. They are: the effects of advances in transportation; federal government support of suburbs; and the standardization of construction and materials. Finally, the exhibition examines the backlash against the suburban model of stripping the land and building identical houses all in rows.
Instead, the 1946-1956 Fairfax County development of Hollin Hills used Contemporary Modern Movement architecture and offered fifteen unique design options that united interiors with the outdoors. Homes were placed to minimize impact on the landscape and provide maximum privacy. Hollin Hills’ home designs and use of the landscape made it a different kind of suburban
Materials in the exhibition are housed in George Mason University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives department.