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Housing expert at history center

1/17/2014, 4:16 p.m.

Architectural historian Richard Cloues will take “Lunch & Learn” participants back almost 100 years to explore American housing trends on Jan. 21 at the DeKalb History Center in Decatur.

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Richard Cloues

He will present “After the Bungalow, Before the Ranch: The Small American House Phenomenon, 1920s-1950s” beginning at noon.

The session is free, and participants should bring their lunch.

Cloues has observed that while most people are familiar with the early 20th-century Craftsman-style bungalow and many are gaining an appreciation for the midcentury ranch house, few people are as aware of the importance of the houses built from the 1920s to the 1950s – particularly the many small and seemingly simple one- or one-and-a-half-story houses in modest Colonial, English, or plain styles.

Cloues, who has a Ph.D. in architectural history and historic preservation from Cornell University, will show that these “second-child-in-a-three-child-family” houses were revolutionary in their time. He says they represent profound changes in the way American houses were designed and built in the 20th century in response to economic challenges, new technologies, and changing family circumstances.

The Stone Mountain resident will show how these small houses form an important chapter in the history of American houses.

Cloues worked at the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office for 34 years, before retiring in June 2012.

During his career, he contributed to studies of Georgia’s vernacular houses, African-American historic places, historic landscapes, 20th-century suburbs, the ranch house, and the split-level house.

The Atlanta History Center is in the Historic DeKalb Courthouse at 101 E. Court Square. For more information, visit www

.dekalbhistory.org or call 404-373-1088, Ext. 22.