Historic mid century modern house plans for sale today

For those of us who would like to own an authentic, mid century modern house — but either can’t afford the vintage home of our dreams — or can’t find one in our location, HousePlans.com is selling historical mid century modern house plans from famed architects Joseph Eichler, William Turnbull, William Wurster and Theodore Bernardi in addition to Cliff May inspired house plans.

Joseph Eichler

According to the HousePlans.com press release:

California developer Joseph Eichler brought modern architecture to the suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s when he hired contemporary architects like Anshen & Allen and Jones & Emmons to design his tract houses.

Key elements of Eichler houses

According to Daniel Gregory, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Houseplans.com:

  • Post-and-beam construction
  • Walls of glass
  • Strong indoor-outdoor connections to an atrium, courtyard, or patio
  • Mid-century modern design esthetic

Regular contributor and reader — Troy owns an original Eichler.

Eichler House plans you can still buy today:Eichler-house-plan

There are eight Eichler house plans currently available from houseplans.com:

Ranging from 1,649 sq. ft. – 2,733 sq. ft. — there is variety in these eight available Eichler house plans.By contacting House Plans Studio — you can request estimates for building costs and architectural consultation.

Read our complete story — Build and Eichler ranch house — 8 original design house plans available today

Cliff May inspired house plans

These plans are not original Cliff May plans but “Cliff May inspired.” Due to building codes — May’s original plans can no longer be built without being altered to meet current code conditions. Cliff May is the father of the ranch house, just like Royal Barry Wills is credited with being the father of mid century Cape Cod and colonial homes.

According to Daniel Gregory, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Houseplans.com and author of the book, Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House, Cliff May:

  • Was the most influential ranch house designer due to his innovation, salesmanship, and flawless timing
  • Popularized glamorous yet practical California living concept — a scientific approach to modern living
  • Perfected the slab foundation, sliding window wall, the vanity, and the ridge skylight
  • Was most active during the 1950s and 1960s — boom years
  • Personally designed more than 1,000 homes and commercial buildings during his career
  • There are 18,000 designs, including “Low-Cost” tract ranch houses attributed to his architectural office — including the well known Long Beach Ranchos in Southern California — which is being revitalized with the help of

Rochelle and Doug Kramer — Cliff May enthusiast real estate agents.

A typical Cliff May house:

  • One story
  • No more than one room-wide
  • Appears to hug the ground
  • Incorporates outdoor space with patios and terraces under broad overhangs
  • Stucco or board-and batten walls — even a combination of the two
  • Shallow gable tile or shake roofs
  • L or splayed U shaped layouts that conform to the shape of the lot

Cliff May inspired house plans you can still buy today:

There are seveb Cliff May inspired plans — one with six variations of square footage and floor plans designed to be able to fit on a multitude of lot shapes and sizes.


  • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 1: Plan #445-1 — BASIC PLAN (Flexahouse) and variations — all by architect Nick Noyes.
    • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 2Plan #445-2
    • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 3Plan #445-3
    • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 4: Plan #445-4
    • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 5Plan #445-5
    • Cliff May inspired plan #1 — variation 6:  Plan #445-6


  • Cliff May inspired plan #7: Plan 544-1 by designer Steven Murphy.

Read our complete story — 8 Cliff may inspired ranch house plans from Houseplans.com

See our interview with the designer of Cliff May inspired plan 544-1, Steven Murphy — Cliff May ranch houses and their important architectural legacy

William Turnbull

  • Designed The Sea Ranch, a seaside vacation compound in Sonoma County, California — groundbreaking in its coexistence with the adjacent environment and modest sized homes
  • Rejected boxy modern ranch homes for a more relaxed, rustic style
  • Designed several notable large scale projects — Mountain View, California Civic Center, and Napa Valley’s Cakebread Winery, but found great joy in house design — which allowed him to explore the links between architecture and landscape
  • Sucessor firm: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects: www.tgharchitects.com.
  • Turnbull’s obituary from the New York Times
  •  Main visionary of the Sea Ranch was Al Boeke, who died in 2011. Read his obituary in The New York Times that mentions the Sea Ranch

Three William Turnbull Sea House house plans you can buy today:

William-Turnbull-house plan

Read our complete story — Three historic Sea Ranch house plan designs by William Turnbull now available for sale 

William Wurster and Theodore Bernardi

Were architects who worked together in the same firm to collaborate on this — now available — house plan.

Case Study House plan you can buy today:

  • A series of mid century modern home designs created by famed architects such as Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Sarrinen and many more
  • Commissioned beginning in 1945 by John Entenza, the owner and editor of Arts & Architecture magazine
  • 36 Case Study home plans were designed — 26 were actually built

William WUrster & Theodore Bernardi house plan

Read our complete story — Build a Case Study House — 1945 design by William Wurster & Theodore Bernardi available at houseplans.com

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  1. Joe Felice says

    Oh, God, I can’t stand it! I want one so bad! I wish I could find a builder and a small piece of land, so I could have my very-own mid-century modest (well, OK, mid-century cheap) house! Two bedroom, one-bath, and a garage with a small yard is all I need. Is this too-much to ask?

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks – but note, the plans available from houseplans.com are really buildable — with detailed specs for the contractor and subs etc — w, whereas what you see in online catalogs are layouts.

    • N Roth says

      Mike Jackson, you just changed my life! This library of house catalogs will keep me busy for a long time to come. Thanks so much for the link!

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