Saturday, June 19, 2010


Some time around 1949 or 1950 my family moved to a "flat top" house on West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I can remember the area and much of what happened in those days, even at 4 or 5, but seeing an original "flat top" at the AMSE Museum Saturday did not bring back any memories of the interior of the house.

I wanted to remember details of the house, but the exterior is all that I can remember. However, the tour of the original 68 West Outer Drive unit did nothing else for me, except make me proud that I lived during this era.

This unit is on permanent display at the museum now and you should make it a point to visit it...just for the sake of history.

My family moved from Oak Ridge around '51 or '52, but I will always feel a little part of Oak Ridge and of all that history.

Number 68 was auctioned off in 1950 and taken to Tazewell an used as a weekend home by the Fitzpatrick family. They recently donated it to the museum and I think it's a great addition and wonderful way of preserving history.

At a cost of around $3400 each, 1622 of these Type B-1 Houses, with 576 square feet of living space, were built in Oak Ridge between 1943 and 1945 to house some of the 75,000 people working at the plants.

The Type B-1 House had 2 bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen with extended pantry, and a living room.

Obviously, the houses got their name from the flat roofs. Some of these still stand today. This "flat top" house was originally located at #68 West Outer Drive.

It was sold in 1950 and used as a summer home in a nearby town. The family recently donated it to the AMSE Museum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Take a tour:

More photos HERE!


BRUNO said...

Not unlike todays' "modern" prefab modular-homes. Used to call 'em "double-wide" trailers/mobile homes, at one time in the past. Although the flat-tops were very likely constructed better than any prefab of today.

"Affordably-Efficient", if you will...!

Debbie said...

I actually like the house. There are usually leaking problems with flat room houses though. It has an oriental look, is a strange way.

Right Truth

Suldog said...

That's fascinating. Your house is in a museum? Way cool!

Odd coincidence: Just this morning I had a job for a recording that included Tazewell... The Tazewell County Justice Center!

Anonymous said...

Love this design. We went on a Mid-Century Modern Home Tour yesterday and most of the homes had flat tops. Joseph Eichler was the developer for most of the ones we saw. Beautiful!