Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Prefab That Started it All - The Quonset

I first remember Quonset Huts from their appearance in Gomer Pyle PFC and McHale's Navy.  What I did not know is that they take their name from the place they were first manufactured, Quonset Point Naval Base, Kingstown RI. Some 150,000 were produced during WWII and after the war, they were sold to civilians for $1,000 each.  I used to see them a fair bit in rural N.E., but seems they have mostly rusted away.  A friend of mine was absolutely mad about them and always wanted to have one as a second home.  Post WWII housing was scarce for returning GI's and  the city of Los Angeles set up a temporary settlement of 750 Quonset huts intended to house 1,000 families, at it's peak Roger Young Village, named after Pvt. Roger Young, housed 5,000 individuals.  Seems to me the simple Quonset hut would have been better that flimsy and toxic Katrina trainers. The Village was demolished mid 50's.


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