Wartime Housing in Middle River - Middle River, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 39° 20.291 W 076° 25.174
18S E 377662 N 4355267
Quick Description: One of two historical markers at Martin State Airport Station in Middle River, Maryland. On this plaque, "example" is spelled "exampie".
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 7/3/2021 12:09:18 PM
Waymark Code: WM14G6G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:
The plaque says, "Housing Shortage

Glenn L. Martin purchased 1,260 acres of waterfront land in middle River for the location of his new aircraft manufacturing plant. The first phase of the plant was constructed in 1929.

The plant's workers traveled from Baltimore City to the Middle River plant by automobile and streetcar. The commute out of Baltimore City along Eastern Avenue was nationally recognized by Life magazine as the "Twelve Tormented Miles" due to the traffic jams and poor road conditions.

Martin advocated numerous roadway improvements to MD 150/Eastern Boulevard to facilitate his employes' commutes. In response to gas and rubber rationing during World War II, Martin also promoted carpooling among his employees, which also aided in reducing traffic congestion.

In 1939, an expansion of the aircraft manufacturing and an increase in the work force caused a local housing shortage. Plant workers took shelter in Middle River's old hotels, rooming houses, cabins, garages, barns, 2nd attics. Some bed space was rented in shifts throughout the day.

To house his workers, Martin developed plans for a Garden City known as Martinville. However, the grand plans were abandoned during World War II and most of the development, including the civic center, stadium, technical college, roadway extension, golf course, and heliports were never built.


Built in 1940, the Stansbury Mano rApartments on Wilson Point Boulevard were the only part of Martinville to be constructed. After 1940, the Federal government joined forces with martin to construct economical large-scale housing developments.

Designers situated houses within Stansbury Estates (1941) to face shared backyards rather than the street. Victory Villa, the largest development, was constructed along both sides of Martin Boulevard beginning in 1941. Planners named streets in Aero Acres (1941) after parts of planes.

Beginning in 1943, apartment buildings became the primary type of housing constructed for wartime workers. The first apartment community was Mars Estates (1943). Victory Villa Gardens (1943) consisted of long on-story concrete block buildings covered with either stucco or redwood siding. Martin's female plant workers used many buildings as dormitories.

Other apartment communities including Burkleight Manor (1943), Edgewater Apartments and Middle River Manor (both 1943-1944), and Oak Grove (1945). Many of the housing units remained occupied after World War II, which postponed the removal of temporary housing developments.

Pierce-Cemesto Houses

As the work force increased at his plant, Glenn L Martin began an exhaustive search for innovative house fabrication techniques. Architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed prototype housing units in December 1940 that used a structural material known as Cemesto. Comprised of asbestos and cement, the Cemesto panels served as the interior and exteriro walls of the buildings. Architects used the Pierce-Cemesto house design for the 607 units constructed in Stansbury Estates and Aero Acres. Recognized at the time as an early example of affordable suburban housing, each house could be built in only 35 man-hours. The houses featured a living room with picture window, kitchen with dining alcove, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a storage area."
Type of sign or poster: Misspelled

Name the misspelled word: Not listed

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