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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Quonset Huts on Forest Avenue – 1996

In November of 1949, the city of Durango requested title to 20 World War II surplus Quonset huts to help ease a housing shortage after the war. Originally located where Needham Elementary School is today, they were moved to Forest Avenue when the school was built. With two duplex units in each building, they served as low-cost housing for students and other lower-income families for more than 40 years. The first huts were manufactured at the start of WW II when the U.S. Navy needed an all-purpose, lightweight building that could be shipped anywhere and assembled with unskilled labor. Starting in 1941, more than 150,000 were manufactured during the war. The military offered its surplus huts to the public once the war was over. Many universities used them for housing veterans attending college on the GI Bill. After many years of service in Durango, these huts shown were all removed by the early 2000s. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 04.05.244 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)