Actually, make that “Re-Exposed”.
Having been profiled in Atomic Ranch Magazine, the Eichler Network’s CA Modern Magazine, and in Doug Kramer’s Rancho Style Newsletters, we decided to visit an enclave of Cliff May Rancho homes this past weekend.
Living quietly in the eastern Long Beach region near El Dorado Park by Spring and Stevely, we found that it’s all true: There’s a neighborhood of approximately 700 homes, built in 1953 & 1954 and designed by architect Cliff May and his firm May & Choate. The homes feature post and beam construction, open floor plans, large expanses of windows, exposed beam ceilings, and enclosed, private lots for a compound-like feel. They were originally priced between $7500 and $11,900, and are 1130 to 1600 square feet.
We found several homes undergoing current restoration and upgrading. Many showed the homeowner’s flare for embracing the Modern design style and running with it.
Candidly, because of some of the design elements of Mid-Century Modern homes and the materials of their original era (e.g. asbestos commonly used in acoustic ceilings, drywall, VA tiles, mastic, etc.), these homes can be a challenge to maintain and remodel. We did find some homes that were showing their wear. But the pride in the neighborhood and the joy of seeing a special area like this just cannot be overstated.
And delightfully, we hadn’t travelled more than 2 blocks before finding some vintage Airstreams parked in driveways (ala our Heavy Metal posting of January 4, 2011).
Have a Cliff May home you’d like to see featured in Modern | Bungalow? Email us at ModernBungalow1@gmail.com.