The once and future ranch

For this Sunday’s Inspiration, this excellent article on the modest middle class ranch home and the growing interest in preserving it. Hey, I think the sentiment also goes for the capes, colonials and split levels of the era, which also shared the unpretentious, egalitarian ethic of the ranch. A long read, but well worth it, in terms of better understanding the “back story” of our mutual obsession with the postwar period!

The once and future ranch:
The postwar icon is wooing a new generation. Yes, your folks’ house is cool again.

By Scott Timberg Times Staff Writer October 20, 2005

ITS low-slung frame sprawled across plains and valleys of a more open landscape. The single-story footprint didn’t boast, or point skyward like the self-assured colonial or Victorian. It offered a comfortable relationship with the climate and surrounding flora, and a democratic, open floor plan; it didn’t section off areas into servants quarters or announce visitors in grand foyers. It was modern without being Space Age, modest without being plain, evoking history without being mere nostalgia. If a style of residential architecture can symbolize an era, the ranch house became the iconic American home in the period from roughly 1945 to 1970: By some estimates, 70% of American homes built in the 25 years after World War II were ranch houses. Read the rest here.

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