Fifteen Demonstration Homes, exemplifying the proper use of nationally available materials, equipment and methods for home building or home modernization.
The 1939 World's Fair guide books listed the average home price of around $20,000 while the 1940 Guide Book gave a price range from $3,000 to $35,000. The arrangement of the Demonstration Homes was not intended to represent a model community plan.
Inside each home was a room which held an exhibit of "hidden" materials that were used in the building of the particular house. On display were free-standing sections of walls, roofs and floors showing their construction including sheathing, insulation and special structural systems.
At the opening of The Town of Tomorrow, Federal Housing Administrator Steward McDonald stated: “A nation of home owners provides insurance against unrest and social upheaval.” However, an editor of the Post predicted: “Every woman who sees them is going to be a wild cat until she gets something very much like them.”
Designers of the homes tended to create rooms that served more than one purpose. This apparently developed from family necessities rather than deliberate architectural planning.
One unique interior design in the Garden House utilized wallpaper matching the furniture coverings, continuing the design without a distinguishing break.
Home designers predicted that the innovations shown in the Town would not become apparent until twenty years later as there was a built-in life term of twenty-years in home buildings.
Nash’s Weather Eye air conditioned automobile was selected as the family cars to be displayed in The Town of Tomorrow. Nine of Nash Company’s twenty-two models were distributed in the houses’ driveways and garages.
The designers of the homes in The Town of Tomorrow determined that 80 per cent of suburban residents arrived or departed from their homes by automobiles. Thus, they included the new convenience of automatic garage doors that operated from a signal within the house or from a key control outside.
None of the homes had cellars due to the Flushing Marsh. However, most designers compensated for the lack of cellars by creating “the utility room.”
Reviewing the Town of Tomorrow, Helen F. Brown noted “The porch, always a popular feature in our climate, has undergone a change.” The homes of the Town featured porches on multiple levels, often coming off an upstairs bedroom and were also designed to make the outside feel part of the whole house.
Emily Genauer posed the question: “Do modern and traditional houses make congenial neighbors?” Having viewed The Town of Tomorrow, the columnist answered a resounding, “Yes!”