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Hoffman Heights Subdivision

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1950–1954. E. 6th Ave. to E. 13th Ave. between Peoria and Potomac sts.

Sam Hoffman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who learned plastering and cement finishing in Detroit, titled himself the Henry Ford of the homebuilding industry. Like Levittown, his mass-produced housing was designed to give middle-class families the opportunity of home ownership. In a 1953 Business Week interview, Hoffman declared: “Frank Lloyd Wright builds houses around the personalities of the people who live in the house; I build houses around people's pocketbooks.”

His $10,000 homes were available in several one-story ranch house plans. Well built of good red and yellow brick and timber, these hip-roofed houses were “modern” in eliminating front porches and adding backyard patios, one- and two-car attached garages, large picture windows, and two bathrooms. Some 400 of the 1,700 homes were sold before construction began. Although most have been modified, 12540 East 7th Avenue remains true to its original plan.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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