Modular buildings are publicly known as pop-up or seemingly temporary structures, often associated with construction sites, new housing developments, and schools in need of inexpensive expansion. You likely attended a school in your youth that had modular classrooms, locker rooms, or lunch rooms beside the main building. But a modular building is more than what you might assume. They can be just as permanent as a traditional structure, and can be made of durable, long-lasting materials that exceed the quality of other structures. 

Being modular isn't just about being cheap to build. There's more to these structures than that. However, in order to understand just why modular buildings are so important and beneficial, you should learn a bit of history about these buildings. 

This is a brief and fascinating history of the modular building, including its humble but vital roots, developments, and uses today.


The first modular buildings may have ancient roots, as civilizations built and distributed natural materials to create pre-fabricated homes for citizens that were easy to install and inhabit. However, the modern modular building, as we know it, can be attributed to Sears, Roebuck and Co. Long before they became known as clothing and appliance retailers with the occasional auto shop or gift shop, Sears sold modular homes in the early 20th century. After the development of US railroads, populations grew, expanded, and relocated at such remarkable rates that a housing solution needed to be developed to match this demand.

Mass housing was developed in the form of modular homes. Sears and its competitors began issuing catalogs, from which one could choose home designs and customize them in small ways. For instance, you could choose a "Queen Anne" design and select the number of bedrooms you needed, or add a servant's quarters to the home. By 1940, Sears had sold over half a million such homes. 

New York City


After World War II came American suburbanization, or expansion of cities into large neighborhood communities. Soldiers who returned from war and workers facing an economic boom and new job opportunities needed family housing. Modular homes were efficient and cheap to build, but comfortable and could be constructed to suit American population growth.

While they were simpler than today's modular buildings, typically built simply out of wood, the following decades saw an increase in sophistication and diversity of materials. For instance, overhead cranes could quickly build steel-framed buildings, and this led to more industrial modular structures, like construction site offices and office parks. These buildings could be shipped nationwide once more durable materials were used.

Modern Uses

Many of today's fast food restaurants and sub-division homes are considered modular structures, being designed by larger companies who can personalize and localize the designs depending on the buyer's tastes and the building's intended location. Today, you can buy homes, businesses, and industrial structures ranging in size, scale, and design. You can now shop to build quickly, inexpensively, and efficiently according to your specific needs. These buildings are now so structurally stable and sophisticated that no one would ever know these buildings are modular. You can shop for modular buildings online to suit your building needs and budget.

Give Cassone Trailers a call today if you need modular buildings for sale in NYC! We’ll take care of all your needs.