A member of Thurston Woods since 1989, George Krauspe lived in a home on 42nd Street before moving to his current house on 38th Street. He has experienced the community as both a property owner and renter during his life as a trainer for utility construction companies.
George finds his home very comfortable for a single person and enjoys making updates during his spare time. A few projects that he has worked on include: rewiring outdated electric wiring, re-insulating precast panels and replacing fiber board with drywall. When he is not fixing up his home, George enjoys woodworking and making furniture.
The construction of mass-housing developments after World War II stemmed the post-war housing crisis and created a space for middle-class families to achieve the American Dream: home ownership. The legacy of this era can still be seen today in homes constructed in the Thurston Woods community. In particular, George Krauspe’s house on 38th Street reflects the style of mass-produced homes that allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans the opportunity for affordable housing in the 1950s. Stylistically known as “The Fargo,” George’s house was designed by the National Home Corporation (NHC). The NHC was a manufacturer of prefabricated housing and buildings. It also offered financing and insurance to its buyers. It is probable that George’s house was constructed by one of the NHC buyer-dealers located in the area; however, we cannot say for sure. We do know that the house was prefabricated in 1951, meaning the building materials were made off-site, shipped to Thurston Woods, and constructed on location. Building materials included a wooden framework, aluminum/vinyl exterior siding, fiber board interior walls, plywood and a gabled roof clad in asphalt shingles. One enters straight into the living room, used for entertaining. The kitchen was constructed as a separate space. This discrete room is different from the more open concept kitchen+living space we encounter today. The efficient use of space in prefab homes is effectively represented in George’s home. Finally, two bedrooms, one utility room and one bathroom completed the American Dream of home ownership. Owning a home was the dividing factor between the middle class and poor in a post-World War II world.