Following the austerity of the Great Depression and in the midst of the materials shortages of World War II, prefabrication emerged as a novel paradigm for a "new world... reduced to fundamentals." The genesis of this model, however, may be traced even further back to the Bauhaus's attempt to "introduce to people a new industrialized world and the benefits of such a world and the rejuvenation that the economic world could have as a result of a new technology." Through the introduction of industrial processes, architects could now "contribute a socialized architecture" to this new, modern world.

Beginning in 1937, with a plywood house in Lafayette, Indiana, Goldberg began to experiment with prefabricated designs. Additional prefabricated design commissions were received from the United States government, including a convertible Bofors 90mm gun crate for the Army and a Mobile Delousing Unit and Mobile Penicillin Laboratory both for the Office of Strategic Services, all circa 1943. From 1949 to 1953 Goldberg served as a consulting architect for the Pressed Steel Car Company, which resulted in innovative products such as the Unicel Prefabricated Freight Boxcar, whose shell was constructed entirely of laminated plywood, and the Unishelter Prefabricated Housing Unit. Despite the efforts of many, prefabricated design had difficulty catching on in the U.S. This was due largely to the great variation in city building codes across the country, but also to the aesthetic tastes of American homebuyers.

  1. Standard Houses Corporation, c.1940-1943. Brochure, c.1940-1942.
  2. Standard Houses, Suitland, MD, 1942-1943 (with Gilmer V. Black, associate architect). Interior view, c.1942-1942.
  3. "Meeting of Manufacturers Of Prefabricated Housing With Division of Defense Housing," November 10-11, 1941. Transcript, p.141.
  4. Standard Fabrication Prefabricated Bathroom Units, ("Stanfab"), 1946-1947. Brochure, c.1947.
  5. Pressed Steel Car Company, Unicel Freight Cars, Hegewisch, Chicago, IL, 1950-51. Sections and details of corner curve connections, September 20, 1950.
  6. Pressed Steel Car Company, Unicel Freight Cars. Exterior view, c.1950-1951.
  7. Pressed Steel Car Company, Unishelter Prefabricated Housing Units, Hegewisch, Chicago, IL, 1952. Advertisement (units), [1952].
  8. Pressed Steel Car Company, Unishelter Prefabricated Housing Units, Hegewisch, Chicago, IL, 1952. Advertisement ("Unishelter Town"), [1952].

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