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1961-05-01 — $20 Million Shell Home Project Starts — Philadelphia Inquirer

Monday, May 1, 1961; p. 24


A Delaware Valley firm has launched a program to construct and sell $20,000,000 worth of aluminum shell home in a development near Jacksonville Fla. Matthew B. Weinstein, president of Major Realty Corp., Rosemont, announced last week that his firm, in collaboration with Aluminum Co. of America, had developed the aluminum shell house.

Weinstein and M. C. Schoetz, Alcoa's manager of building product sales, said that the prototype unit, of contemporary easy-to-erect and low maintenance design, finished in an unlimited choice of colors, represented the forerunner of a series of such aluminum structures.

They said they believed it would be the first aluminum shell ho me to be scheduled for volume production, and the first to be merchandised as part of a large coordinated development. 

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 The shell concept, the two officials said, is aimed specifically at "helping to meet the Nation's great need for adequate housing for retired persons, young couples, and other families with limited incomes.

Weinstein added that "the potential for a durable, attractive, and yet modestly priced dwelling unit looms significantly when on realizes that in Florida alone more than 160,000 to 200,000 new permanent residents settle each year. A substantial number of them, including many retired people, require new low-cost housing.

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Priced at $2950, the first models of the new aluminum shell home will be erected on one-quarter and one-half acre residential lots on property owned by Major Realty two miles west of Jacksonville, Weinstein said. He added that present plans call for the completion of sample houses within 120 days, and that ultimately 4000 units will be built on the 2000-acre tract either as shells, partially completed homes, or complete residences. Completed homes, including the land, will sell for about $7500.

The first development Weinstein said, is expected to generate a sales volume in excess of $20,000,000. Merchandising of the aluminum shell homes elsewhere in Florida and in other states, and the introduction of new models, will follow.

Development of the first Major Realty-Alcoa house, as well as others on the drawing boards is being conducted by the two companies in consultation with Prof. Pietro Belluschi, dean of architecture at M.I.T.; C. Frederick Wise, A.I.A. of Rosemont,  Pa.; and Jacque Fresco, industrial designer of Miami, Fla.

Schoetz said Alcoa will be active on a continuing basis in the research and development phases of the shell home program.