Art History



Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work

Qualifying paper


Victoria Young

Second Advisor

Heather M. Shirey

Third Advisor

Vanessa A. Rousseau


The architecture created during World War II is sometimes forgotten in the
context of the war itself. Factories and materials needed for the armaments for the war
effort were made for and by the war defense workers who flocked to towns in search of good paying jobs in the years after the Great Depression. Housing the workers became paramount. Demountable prefabricated houses helped served the purpose.The simple utilitarian houses and communities were designed by modern architects in conjunction with the U. S. Government Housing Program. These architects used Modern architectural theory and practices of functionalism, mass production, use of new materials and site/community planning to house the defense workers.

The intent of this thesis to present the war defense demountable housing and its
communities as an important part of World War II architectural history while
highlighting the role modern architecture played in its development. The demountable
prefabricated war defense workers’ projects of Carquinez Heights and Chabot Terrace in Vallejo, California are presented as case studies. They each represent significant shifts in the United States Housing Program and the connection of modern architecture. Modern architectural history, theory and practices is a broad topic. The focus is on the direct and indirect influences of modern architecture on the defense housing program, featuring modern architects William W. Wurster and Walter Gropius.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.