Library of Congress

The Midwest city's approach was much friendlier than New York's

Like New York City, Cleveland saw the urgent need in the 1930s for affordable and healthy public housing for its citizens. The Cleveland Municipal Housing Authority (now the Cuyahoga Municipal Housing Authority) was created in 1933 as a response to the poor living conditions of lower income neighborhoods.

Former City Councilman Ernest Bohn spearheaded the creation of the CMHA. Initially seen as a "socialist" concept, Bohn struggled to sell local politicians and landlords on the virtues of public housing. Once the CMHA was created, however, Cleveland quickly developed a reputation as having some of the most innovative approaches to creating and maintaining housing projects, many of which still operate today.

Most of these posters use modernist type alignment and graphics while showcasing happy children and families inside the new projects as opposed to NYCHA's posters of the same era and style, which focused more on the dangers of not accepting the virtues of public housing.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, here is a look at a few of CMHA's posters, promoting their new housing (we highly recommend clicking the "full screen" option below for the best experience):

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: bicyclists in Paris during a transit strike in December.
    Transportation

    Paris Mayor: It's Time for a '15-Minute City'

    In her re-election campaign, Mayor Anne Hidalgo says that every Paris resident should be able to meet their essential needs within a short walk or bike ride.

  2. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.
    Life

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  3. Transportation

    Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)

    Streetcar, bus, and metro systems have been ignoring one lesson for 100 years: Service drives demand.

  4. photo: Utah Department of Transportation workers inspect a highway bridge under construction on Interstate 15 in American Fork, Utah.
    Transportation

    What 4 Years of Trump’s Transportation Budgets Add Up to

    In his 2021 budget request, President Trump sends mixed messages about federal funding for highways, bridges, and railways. Sound familiar?

  5. Equity

    What Mike Bloomberg Got Wrong About Redlining and the Financial Crisis

    Comments about New Deal-era housing discrimination made by presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg echo a familiar narrative about minority homeowners.

×