November 2, 2011 Charles Goodman

Two Goodman National Homes Prefabs in Herndon Woods

In addition to designing homes for local developers who built signature “Goodman” communities such as Hollin Hills, River Park, Hickory Cluster, Rock Creek Woods and Hammond Wood among others, Charles Goodman also served as an architect for Lafayette, Ind.-based National Homes, which was the country’s largest prefab home manufacturer. A 1954 Time article described Jim Price, the founder of National Homes, as the “King of the Builders,” saying that he “has succeeded where many another failed: he proved that a prefabricated house can be mass-produced and sold at a profit without looking like a Quonset hut.

The last paragraph of the story mentions Goodman, who served as a consulting architect to National Homes for five years beginning in 1953. “In his mass operation, Price has not neglected style. The 31 models in his 1955 line, now starting in production, were designed by Architect Charles M. Goodman of Washington, D.C. Says Price: ‘We can fight it out on a mass or class basis. We can provide a home for somebody who hasn’t any kind of home, or give a rich man a home where he can entertain a Rockefeller.'”

One of the local National Homes communities is Herndon Woods in Herndon, Va. I found these two listings right next to each other that look like they are Goodman-designed 3 bed/1 bath mid-century ranches for National Homes. 607 Spring St. is an as-is short sale listed for $299K. 609 Spring St. is an as-is sale listed at $330K.

Here are few cool ad’s from the 1950s promoting Goodman’s National Homes. This ad is headlined “Beauty…Quality…Low Cost!” and pitches an air conditioned house for just $500 extra. This ad promotes Goodman’s “Ranger” series of homes and has a picture of Goodman at the bottom with the moniker of “world-famous architect.”