The Wallen Maybeck House
book review: Bungalow Plans

Richland, Washington

Richland, WA sits along the Columbia River, on the historic Lews & Clark trail. The town, incorporated in 1910, was mostly razed by the US Army to make room for a new bedroom community for Manhattan Project workers at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The population soared from 300 to 25,000 in July and August 1943; unfortunately, this runaway growth required the destruction of the vast majority of the town's existing structures, and almost all of its residences. The army knocked down the homes to make room for new, "modern" tract homes, but a very few of the original houses - mostly built between 1907 and 1935 - were saved from the wrecker's ball. Most of those that still stand are Craftsman or inspired by Craftsman and Prairie styles; Jeremy Wells of the East Benton County Historical Museum has put together photographs of and a bit of commentary on these structures.

The new planned community of Richland was designed in less than 90 days. Construction of new streets began on March 20, 1943, and the first house completed - a "B-house," one of the "letter houses" named in the convention used for the 26 new plans (A-Z) - was finished on April 28, 1943.