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Cliff May: The Father of the California Ranch

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Ranch homes have experienced a rebirth as of late, and it's no wonder. They are amenable to many different interior aesthetics, and, for homeowners who are also DIYers, they're one of the easiest architectural styles to modify. Because of the ranch's comeback, it's high time we honor the father of the California Ranch, Cliff May.     According to Doug Kramer, in his lifetime, Mr. May designed approximately 18,000 tract homes and more than 1,000 custom homes in the United States. 

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Typical of May's homes are their floor-to-ceiling glass walls that connect outdoors with in. He promoted 'livability rather than facade' and was inspired by watching how people lived in and used his homes.

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 Surprisingly, May was not an architect in the traditional sense. He studied business and accounting in the late 1920's. Around the time of the 1929 market crash, he left school and started building homes. He built and designed his first at the age of 23. May spent the bulk of his career as a licensed building designer, a moniker that gratified him. He once said, 'I was proud that I got where I did and wasn't an architect.' 

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To read more information about Cliff May and to see more images of his work, visit the very enjoyable Rancho Style

All photos courtesy of Rochelle Kramer

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