1950s Magazine Mailorder Plans | Live 3D Modeling in SketchUp

“Seven first-floor rooms on a city lot” boasts a headline in the February 1952 issue of Better Homes & Gardens. The Five Star Home Plan Service gave post-war families access to plans, specifications, a contractor-and-owner agreement, and a cost-finding list of materials—all through the mail.

Back then you would have to enclose $5 in a postal money order to the magazine to build from these plans. Today, @TheOnlyAaron can model Five Star Home No. 2202 in a scant couple of hours!

Tune in to see real-time 3D modeling of 72-year-old architectural plans. By the end, Aaron will have a house that “doesn’t look conspicuous in a conservative neighborhood.”

Here’s the article and plan he’ll be working from:

Conversation’s bound to sparkle in the friendly atmosphere of SketchUp Live! See you there!

Watch on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter.


To be clear… it is the plan that is 72 years old… not the modeler…


Maybe you can model the battery as a warmup. My dad managed a plant for Burgess in the early to mid 60s.


This sounds like an awesome challenge! Love this type of architecture.

Now, don’t forget the materials :wink:

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This one should be fun and educational, looking forward to it.

In the early 60’s, I worked for a contractor who stick built all his homes from a catalog with nothing more than those floor plans!

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Start from scratch would be my preference Aaron

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Valiant effort… good call.

Sorry. I had a student and I missed the whole thing. Just got on in time to see you sign off. Did you model the battery? :smiley:


There is no video on the YouTube page for the Friday, July 12 event.

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Thinking it never happened, postponed till next week, hope it was only a tech glitch and all are safe and sound.

Technical problems with the stream. @TheOnlyAaron struggled with it but after an hour the issues were too much and the stream was abandoned - it is going to be re-scheduled for next Friday when I believe it will be started from scratch rather than where he valiantly got to.

The irony of a 1950s analog design being beset by 21st century digital issues could well be the cause of the first wormhole, or possible evidence of the time travelers conundrum.


Aaron’s modeling computer was working ok, but the machine that looks after the streaming had problems. We were seeing very few frames per second. They do have a few days to get a new computer working well.

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Yeah, as Colin said, it was the streaming machine that had an issue… going to work on it this week and get a solution set up so we can try it again! This time with MORE than three frames per minute!!


From the beginning?

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Of course!

Given the frame rate improvement, Aaron should get through the hour of work from last week, in the first 10 minutes.

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have you tried clicking repetitively on everything ? or placing the computer in a giant bag of rice ?

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I guess it’s been a while since Trimble has done any human sacrifice.
It’s probably why it stopped working