Theses Doctoral

Housing Diplomacy: US Housing Aid to Latin America, 1949-1973

Renner, Andrea

During the Cold War, the State Department sent architects, engineers, and legislation specialists to almost every Latin American and Caribbean nation to develop housing along US lines. These International Housing efforts were part of larger development aid programs in the region and were implemented to secure alliances, suppress radicalism, and promote the American way of life abroad.

The dissertation focuses on three case studies--in the Caribbean, Guatemala, and Peru--to examine the influence the United States had on Latin America's built environment and show how architecture has functioned as an important component of US foreign policy. The dissertation demonstrates how Cold War housing aid introduced new materials and construction techniques, encouraged homeownership by promoting mortgage financing, and helped supplant local, Latin American urban forms with US architectural types and city plans in order to create the image of a modernizing, capitalist, and western-oriented nation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Thesis Advisors
Ballon, Hilary
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2013