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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Home Office: 1935

Home Office: 1935

December 1935. "House in Cincinnati showing its conversion into businesses and blight." Photo by Carl Mydans, Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Red Cross?

What do you suppose this is?

Bloody blighters!

Let in insurance agents and realtors, next thing you know there's rusty car bodies in every untrimmed front yard.

Blight

Actually, it's the dressmakers that ruin a neighborhood.

Please unwrap before Xmas!

Besides the addition of modern windows and doors, composition shingles, and the roof over the second floor balcony, this house suffers from being wrapped in vinyl siding, like its next-door neighbor. Sure, it makes the home low maintenance, but it's drab and unsightly, and hides the architectural details of the house.

Actually Elmwood Place

Not Cincinnati, but it's an easy enough mistake to make, since Elmwood Place and adjoining St. Bernard are both completely surrounded by Cincinnati. Anyway, here's the house below, with the dark and light chimney pots about the only original thing left. Those limestone curbs (they're usually granite on the main streets, but limestone on the side streets) appear to still be there too.

I have to say that caption is the kind of thing that really infuriates me. By the 1920s there was a decidedly anti-urban propaganda machine in full force in the US, but seriously, running a business out of your home is blight? Give me a break.


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Interesting Phrase

Somehow, converting your dwelling into your place of business, as this appears to be, is also converting the neighborhood into 'blight'. Yes, it is well established that nothing attracts new insurance customers like blight.

 
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