Research Center to Host Seminar Examining How World War II Mobilization Transformed Delaware Valley Housing

By Tom McLaughlin

The Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE) at Rutgers University–Camden will offer a free lecture detailing how mobilization for World War II transformed the Delaware Valley into a giant housing laboratory from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

2347_regKristin Szylvian, associate professor of history and library and information science, and director of the graduate public history program at St. John’s University, will present a lecture, titled “Mutual Housing in the Delaware Valley.” Following Szylvian’s talk, copies of her new book, The Mutual Housing Experiment: New Deal Communities for the Urban Middle Class, will be available for purchase and for her to sign.

The talk, which is free of charge and open to the public, will be held in the private dining room in the Campus Center, located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Lunch will be served.

For further information, please contact CURE Associate Director Natasha Fletcher at or (856) 225-6797.

As Szylvian explains in her book, Audubon Park, Bellmawr Park, and Pennypack Woods were built in 1941 as part of a joint program between the U.S. government and the Congress of Industrial Organizations for workers who could not afford home ownership. The three communities functioned as testing grounds for “mutual” or cooperative home ownership and new ideas in community planning, modern architecture, and mass-production building methods.

Founded in 2001, the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers–Camden aims to encourage, facilitate, and promote research on urban issues by Rutgers–Camden faculty and their collaborators around the nation. The research center’s monthly seminars, held in conjunction with Rutgers–Camden’s Office of Civic Engagement, provide members and affiliates with opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research and initiatives from scholars, community activists, and others engaged in urban research and/or urban change.

For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit

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