News/Research

Segregating the Suburbs in Postwar California

31 May, 2024

Segregating the Suburbs in Postwar California

Alum TF Tierney published "Segregating the Suburbs in Postwar California: A History of Ladera Housing Cooperative, 1944-1950"in the Journal of Urban History!

From the abstract:

Ladera, a postwar interracial housing cooperative, provides a compelling look at 1940s housing policies, exposing cultural norms of race in state lending structures. In contrast with most midcentury suburban developments, Ladera was architecturally progressive in design and egalitarian in scope, open to all regardless of race, class, or creed. The research examines the innovative planning and fiscal features of the community, followed by an explication of the 1940s lending landscape and state-sponsored financing process that ultimately reshaped Ladera’s development. As a necessary corrective to established narratives of California’s housing policies, this study reveals the influential intersection of racial and class dynamics prior to Palo Alto’s eventual transformation into the nexus of Silicon Valley, exposing the critical preconditions that produced the sprawling, segregated technopolis of today. The cooperative’s history is analyzed through archival materials, including the cooperative’s records, personal journals, architectural drawings, and the FHA’s internal memos and correspondence.

Read more here!