Ryan Homes was founded in 1947 by builder Edward M. Ryan and incorporated as Edward M. Ryan, Inc. The name was changed to Ryan Homes, Inc. in 1961, after regional expansion during the 1950s. Operations expanded to Columbus, Cleveland, Rochester, Harrisburg and other locations during the 1960s. The company was active in subdivision development and home building, and developed its own lumber yards and manufacturing plants. In 1966 it began a panelization program. In 1969 it built its first townhouses, its first inner-city projects and its first planned unit development, and began expanding into Louisville, Indianapolis, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, etc. The product line was upgraded in 1976 and again in 1987 to appeal to the "move-up housebuyer" and the "upscale buyer."
In 1986 Ryan Homes, Inc. was acquired by NVHomes L.P., and its name was changed to NVRyan L.P.
Blueprints, photographs and papers document selected home models and subdivisions of the 1950s and 1960s. Projects selected document the firm's early history, and are represented by architectural documentation. Papers document some corporate operations, though the records of most decision-making activity were not made available for acquisition. Brochures, flyers and and other advertising materials represent the company's promotional activities.