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. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. Navigator

    The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms

    How the future ‘Living Single’ reboot can reclaim the urban narrative ‘Friends’ ran off with.

  4. MapLab

    Introducing MapLab

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  5. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.