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The 115-Year Evolution Of The American Home, Illustrated

The moving specialists over at iMove drafted up an interactive guide tracking the evolution of the American single family house over the years, covering everything from the art deco-style homes of the ’30s to the sprawling ranch houses of the ’50s to the flashy McMansions of the ’90s and beyond.

Starting with the 1900s, this illustrated infographic offers a virtual joy ride–complete with a vehicle that transforms to match the times–through 15 decades of changing residential architecture. With a scroll of the mouse, the car rolls leisurely along a suburban street, passing by houses that represent the style of a given era, while descriptions of notable architectural features and the major happenings of that decade provide context.

Scroll through the interactive timeline here iMove

In 1910, for example, Prairie School-style houses featured ivy covered sleeping porches due to the recently discovered health benefits of “fresh air.” In the ever-tasteful 1980s, which saw Reagan elected and family size declining, deconstructivist houses came into fashion, along with with finished basements, floral patterned wallpaper and carpeted bathrooms.

With each passing decade the houses get bigger and the prices get higher, until finally maxing out in the aughts with the McMansion 2.0. Not surprisingly, the average house decreases in size following the real estate collapse of 2008, but quickly bounces back as the chart enters present day, when homes are nearly three times the size of those in the 1900s.

The suburbs are dead, long live the suburbs!

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