Builders Needed ‘Strong, Central Leadership’ in 1942

Filed in Membership by on December 1, 2016 1 Comment

75th ann. logoWe’ve told you about preparations for NAHB’s 75th anniversary and how we hope our state and local HBAs will join in the fun.

Those of you who have been “around the block” once or twice might recall celebrating the last important milestone: NAHB’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1992.

A stack of vintage, yellowed NAHB newspapers — copies of Nation’s Building News, which ceased publication many years ago in favor of more convenient e-newsletters — reveals an interesting look back at the issues builders faced at the time, as well as how they planned to commemorate the 50th.

In the midst of headlines predicting “Subpar Performance for Housing in 1992,” with expected starts of between 1 million and 1.25 million, and a report of NAHB’s first-ever Remodelers’ Show in Pittsburgh (“a convincing demonstration that remodeling can no longer be regarded as just a sideline business in residential construction,” the story says), the Dec. 16, 1991 issue featured an interview with 1982 NAHB President Fred Napolitano, chair of the 50th Anniversary Task Force.

NAHB came about, Napolitano said, because the outbreak of World War II meant that jobs would suddenly be available to the millions of American workers sidelined by the Depression. Those workers needed homes near the shipyards, tanks and aircraft plants where more jobs were available. Many builders were left scrambling.

“As the material, valuation and permit crises grew throughout the 1940s, it became clear that our industry needed a strong central leadership to speak in a unified voice for the needs of its constituents: the builders. NAHB was born of need,” Napolitano said.

To celebrate the 75th, NAHBNow will post a number of retrospectives throughout 2017 to highlight the trends, issues and leaders who shaped the association and made an impact on the home building industry.

We also want to hear your stories and memories.  Use this form to tell us what you’re up to for the 75th. Questions? Email Camilo Cuba.

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  1. What a great way to share some archival points with our members and staff!
    History gives us culture, awareness of issues and appreciation for our industry!
    Please take a moment to contribute your sentiments and points of interest!
    ONwards and UPwards!

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