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It may be found in the bargeboard or the balusters, but older homes just seem to have more character.
Suburban tract houses built after World War II are often said to lack curb appeal because they are mass produced with cookie-cutter sameness.
Because so many ranch-style houses were built quickly and with a cookie-cutter formula, the ranch is dismissed by some as simple, ordinary and without style.
But there is more than meets the eye to the classic suburban ranch.
The raised ranch shares with its suburban design cousins a history based on Mexican hacienda and Italian villa architecture, which emphasized sheltering occupants from both Mediterranean-climate heat and neighborhood activity with a wall-like, anonymous front facade.
The informal ranch style evolved from several 20th century styles.
” “I don’t know who exactly invented the design of the raised ranch, but whoever it was should be shot!
” my architect friend Michael Piccirillo recently told me.
The main complaints Piccirillo has about the elevated ranch are the same that we hear most frequently from the style’s other detractors, basically that the entrance platform between the main and lower levels of the house is normally foreshortened to the extent that it’s difficult to close the door behind you without stepping up a step or down a step.
Also, there is no provision for an entry hall closet and, as Piccirillo pointed out, the lower level is cut off from the main flow of the house.Architect Cliff May is credited with building the first ranch-style home in San Diego in 1932, followed by California real estate developer Joseph Eichler’s mass-produced version that become so popular in the 1950s.