ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. /Publishers Newswire/ — Has today’s economy made you put off your dreams of a new home? The new book, “Prosperity Plans” (ISBN: 978-1450559645), just published by architect Donald J. Berg, might get you dreaming again. Berg’s new book proposes that today’s architects, builders and prospective homeowners can all learn from a series of fascinating “Growing House” designs created in 1934. That was the time of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl droughts, when Americans faced economic horrors that make today’s problems seem mild. It was a time when very few people thought that they’d ever be able to afford a new home.

The designs, first published in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s booklet, “Farmhouse Plans,” show how tiny, low-cost houses can be planned to grow into larger, more comfortable homes over time. The idea helped homeowners spread the cost of construction over many years as houses were expanded in two, three or more stages.

The Growing Houses all started as attractive cottages, each with a kitchen and one or two multi-purpose rooms. Carefully planned additional stages of construction added bedrooms and more formal living spaces with very little demolition and little or no disruption of family life. Each stage created a new home that looked as good or better than the one before it.

“Prosperity Plans” includes a complete reprint of the original 1935 booklet with forty home designs, floor plans, a new forward by Berg, photos of the homes and the times, and links to Internet sources of free downloadable copies of the houses’ original construction drawings. Although the plans are not suitable for today’s building codes, they are a great source for design ideas and attractive construction details.

Softcover copies are available at and other booksellers. An inexpensive, downloadable e-book edition, as well as links to the free construction drawings, are available at .

About the Author, Donald Berg:

Donald Berg is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians. He has published fifteen books on American building and landscape design. His designs, articles and interviews have appeared in Home Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Life, Traditional Building, The Old-House Journal and many other publications. He was a guest on, and consultant for, HGTV’s special, The American Farmhouse.