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NED ANSEL COLE (1917-2008)

From childhood Cole loved to build things and the planning involved. He graduated with honors from Ferris HS and moved to Austin TX, which would be his home for the next two decades. He graduated with honors in Architecture from the University of Texas in 1939 and later taught there. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941. He married his soul mate Helen Diana Creighton in 1942. In the Army, the South Pacific and built bridges, airports, water systems and roads for Allied forces on Guam and in the Philippines. After the war, he returned to Austin and formed a cabinet company named Fabricon, making some of the first standardized cabinets for use in homebuilding. Before that, most cabinets were custom built for each house. Over the next 15 years, Cole also designed and built homes in Texas. In 1952, the National Association of Home Builders decided to develop a house prototype called the Trade Secrets house. It was a huge hit. Cole did the design, and at least 50 houses were built, some faithful to his plan, some not. In the beginning, these houses had furnishings by Herman Miller, which was a sponsor. Cole was featured in LIFE Magazine March 9, 1953.



In 1961, he worked for a home building company in Baton Rouge LA. Later, he formed his own company and began a long second career as a researcher and consultant for projects including the Superdome in New Orleans. He retired in 1983 and traveled extensively, yet clients kept asking him to do "one more job" so he restarted a one-man shop out of his home in Broadmoor. He designed the Atchafalaya Rest Area, Breaux Bridge LA. During 1998-2008, Cole wrote his memoirs. He died at Baton Rouge LA.

1949 - Plan Con Houses, 2000-2100 Peach Tree Street, in Austin TX. About half the 28 houses have since been destroyed.


1949 - Plan Con Houses, 2002 Ford Street, Austin TX. Sun Terrace Subdivision. About half the houses have since been destroyed.

Around 1952 - 3000 Moffett, Wichita Falls TX. 1376 sf. House was rebuilt in 1981 by Rhone Building Company. Status unknown.

with fence Oct 2018.jpeg

1952 - 2401 Circle Drive, Bartlesville OK.Still standing as of 2023.

1952 - 3900 Bilglade, Fort Worth TX. Built by R. B. Billings. Status unknown.

- 1931 Optimist Lane, Charlotte NC. Status unknown.

1952 - Memphis TN. Featured in LIFE Magazine, March 9, 1953. Status unknown.

1952 - South Bend IN. Featured in LIFE Magazine, March 9, 1953. Status unknown.

1952 - Shreveport LA. Featured in LIFE Magazine, March 9, 1953. Status unknown.

1952 - Ohio 1.

1952 - Ohio 2.

1952 - Philadelphia PA.

1952 - Oklahoma City OK.

1952 - 400 West Harvester Street, Pampa TX. Expanded to 4 bedrooms. Developed by Hughes Development Company, built by R. G. (Dick) Hughes.



1952 - 4243 Kimball Road, Memphis TN. Built ty Wallace Johnson Inc. Equipped with Ceil Heat, electric radiant coils in ceiling to pull heat down. Deteriorated, in danger of teardown.

1952 - 600 Harman Avenue, Dayton OH. 1572sf. Lloyd Lewis, developer; W. O. Wyatt builder. Status unknown.

1952 - The Coleman Blend Air House, aka Trend Home, 9 Cypress, Wichita KS. Built just prior to the Trade Secrets House. 1800 sf. Has had additions. Status unknown.


1953 - 3515 Madison Park Boulevard, Shreveport LA. 1,598 sf. Status unknown.


1953 - 4808 West Cardinal Drive, Muncie IN. Former address, 4512 West Cardinal Drive (change occurred in 1976). Built by the Muncie Association of Home Builders. Status unknown.


1953 - 2627 Hillcrest, Flint MI. Status unknown.


1953 - Papermill Drive, Knoxville TN. Papermill Subdivision, Martin Bartling, Jr., Builder. Status unknown.


1953 - 4330 Yucca, Corpus Christie TX. T. M. Bell, builder. Status unknown.



1953 - 4709 Northwest Boulevard, Spokane WA. Michael Stoltz, builder. Stoltz planed to built another nearby. This model sold as the Pacemaker by Seneca Builders (which was a Stoltz company).  Status unknown.

1953 - Baltimore Pike and Oriole Avenue, Delaware County PA.

1953 - Magnolia Park, Savannah GA. Sold to Julie Paige. Status unknown.

1953 - Sedgley Farms, Wilmington DE. Built by Frank A. Collins. 



1953 - 2215 West 13th Street, Wichita KS. Indian Hills Subdivision. Ken Stowall, developer. Status unknown.

1953 - 449 Cortez Drive, El Paso TX. Clardy-Fox neighborhood. William J. Elliott, developer. Status unknown.

1953 - 3149 East Camelback, Phoenix AZ. Brentwood Estates subdivision. There were 6 Arizona versions of the house.


1953 - Holland MI. The Five-Star Lumber Company developed a version of the Trade Secrets House.


1953 - aka The Studio, SW corner of Park Blvd, Massapequa Park NY. Unsure if built. 

1953 - Cook Street, between Lexington and Main Street, Mansfield OH. Developed by Ranchwood Development. 

1953 - 1645 Barnett Circle, Pleasant Hill CA. Sherman Balch, builder. Status unknown.


1953 - aka The Westerner, based on the Trade Secrets House, Los Angeles CA. Built by California Builders.


1953 - 7000 Petit Avenue, Van Nuys CA. Ernest Becker, builder. Has been modified.


1953 - 1165 Volz Drive, Sacramento CA. Built by Frank Mead and Dana Fuller. Has been modified. Status unknown.


1953 - Between 36th and 37th Streets and the ocean, Ocean City MD. Destroyed.


1953 - 2329 South Toledo Avenue, Tulsa OK. Built by Jim Nuckolls Construction. Sold in 2012. Status unknown.


1953 - Pittsburgh PA. Five local builders planned homes: Russell P. Miller, Ed Glunt and Forbes Lumber and Supply, Warren Kimball and North Side Pittsburgh, Guy Woodring in West Kittaning, and Walter Beets in Beaver Falls. 


Around 1950 - aka Spacefinder, 376 Orange Way, Palm Beach FL. Has been remodeled. Status unknown.


Around 1950 - aka Spacefinder, 375 Orange Way, Palm Beach FL. Has been remodeled. Status unknown.

1955 - 5430 Winton Road, Cincinnati OH. This was the modified model of a 1953 demonstration house on Jessup Road made for a home show. Public reaction was negative, most perceived it as too modern and open. Too much glass and small bedrooms were also complaints. Status unknown.

1954 - aka Trend House, 1025 North 63rd Street, Omaha NE. Based on the Trade Secrets house. The difference was a garage instead of a carport and basement instead of slab floor.


1954 - Bethpage Road and Willets Road, Mid-Island Park, Hicksville, NY. 700 house development built by Walter Stackler and Leonard Frank. Three Trade Secret house styles were included, the 3-bedroom Ranch, a Cape Cod with attached garage, basement and expansion attic, and a 7-room split level. Three examples above built 1953-1954.

1954 - 3620 East 21st, Spokane WA. Ivan Durbin, builder. 2100 sf.


1954 - The A. W. Brown Builder House, Soap Lake WA. Unsure if built.

1954 - The John J. Roach House, Albuquerque NM. Unsure if built.





 1954 - aka Air-Conditioned Village, Austin TX. Part of a collaboration with UT Austin. These were the first homes in the world to have central air. Austin was picked due to its range of temperatures and arid and humid conditions. Built by H. T. Baker. Cole did most of the houses, with others (W. A. Burns on Park View) by Fred Day. Each was around 1200sf.


1954 - The Shepherd/Fridgidaire House, 2505 Park View, Austin TX. Additions by 1964 with a major change in roofline covering the driveway. Destroyed.


1954 - The Kenneth Flagg House, aka Coleman Blend Aire House, 6603 Nasco Street, Austin TX. Sold in 1989 and destroyed.


1954 - The H. T. Baker House, aka Lennox House, 2504 Twin Oaks Drive, Austin TX. Original with some additions. Status unknown.

1954 - The Homes for Americans Plan Book, Homegraff Company, Detroit MI. Variation on the Trade Secrets plan.



1956 - aka The Executive, 807 East Inman Parkway, Janesville WI. Developers Burmester and Wahl combined the Trade Secret house and Place Homes featured in Living for Young Homemakers. Status unknown.

Around 1961 - The Ned and Diana Cole House, 9935 South River Oaks Boulevard, Baton Rouge LA. 2844 sf. Sold in 2009. Status unknown.

Sources include: Grandson Will Cole, Catherine Westergaard Cramer.