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Ralph Rapson - Small House Competition Design

Rapson's second-place design for a 1950 NAHB competition. Image: Ralph Rapson

In 1950, the National Association of Home Builders held a nationwide housing competition for a small 1,000-square-foot house plan tailored to a particular region of the country. Amazingly, the competition drew some seven thousand entries, making it the largest competition in its day.

The rules permitted only one entry per person, but since I had worked out two designs, I decided to enter one in Mary's name. At the last moment. I flipped a coin to decide how to credit the designs.The entry submitted under my name received second national overall prize and first prize for homes designed for the southeast region.

The other entry won nothing. What would have happened if the coin flip had resulted in Mary's name on the winning award?

Rapson's second entry in the NAHB competition.  Image: Ralph Rapson

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