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Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The book places May at the center of the story of the development of the ranch-style house, illustrated with all manner of original material including vintage photos, marketing material, presentation drawings, and floor plans. Helpfully the book places May's work in its historical context, showing how his custom work expressed and defined the laidback lifestyle of midcentury affluence, and how his tract ranchos - numbering over 18,000 across the western states - leveraged prefabrication and the franchise model to offer the same opportunity to those of more modest means.
In this Olsberg and Gibbs' book is a perfect companion to Daniel Gregory's `Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House' (Rizzoli, 2008). Where the earlier book displayed the richness of May's genius primarily through large, color photos, 'Carefree California' tells the rich back story and places May's significant contribution to midcentury residential architecture within its larger context.
Cliff May was born in San Diego, and the enhanced serendipity of California is exactly what happened to him. Across his career he designed and built, mostly in the Los Angeles area, the standard for ranch houses and a major template for mid-twentieth century contemporary houses. He gathered great acclaim not only for his houses, but also for his careful study of settings and topography. He did not spend one day in an architecture classroom.
A publication of the Art, Design and Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara, "Carefree California - Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House" presents a treatise that reclaims the term "ranch house," which has too long been a generic realty description for any nondescript one-floor house,
More than a century back, however, in still largely unsettled California, the ranch house was a very specific style of house, literal in its nomenclature. In response to the California migration that started in the 1920s, both native and transplanted architects began updating the concept of the ranch house while maintaining the cultural implications such houses had. In many real ways, the ranch house carried the embodiment of California Living east of the Mississippi.
In May's philosophy the ranch house, when properly designed and built, causes its inhabitants to live life in a new way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not all Cliff May designed homes are mentioned here. Notably missing: Pomona.Rather Biased.Published 7 months ago by Denise Rawlings-Shinn
We were fortunate enough to buy a Cliff May home and this book really helped us in our remodeling efforts to keep it as original as possible....loved itPublished on April 13, 2014 by Bob Walker