Historic Residential Suburbs in the United States, 1830-1960 MPD

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The evolution of American suburbs from 1830 to 1960 is fully outlined in this Multiple Property Documentation Form, which is organized into four stages. Each stage corresponds to a particular chronological period and is named for the mode of transportation which predominated at the time, and fostered the outward growth of the city and the development of residential neighborhoods: 1. Railroad and Horsecar Suburbs, 1830 to 1890; 2. Streetcar Suburbs, 1888 to 1928; 3. Early Automobile Suburbs, 1908 to 1945; 4. Post-World War II and Early Freeway Suburbs, 1945 to 1960. These chronological periods provide a general organizing framework for the preparation of individual nominations for suburbs proposed for listing in the registers. Rather than depending upon a fixed set of dates, the organization of the MPD facilitates the exploration of overlapping trends, regional influences, and variations in local economic or social conditions for use in nomination narratives. Within each period, the distinctive type of residential suburb that emerged as a result of the transportation system that served it, advances in community planning and building practices, and popular trends in design are fully explained. Also discussed in detail are the major national trends that shaped America’s suburbs, including the development of urban and metropolitan transportation systems, the evolution of building and planning practices, a national system of home financing, the design of the residential subdivision, and trends in the design of the American home.

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


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