GetMedia-1Nothing warms our hearts more than a Ranch-style home, especially a refreshed ranch. This all-American house style was popularized in the 1950’s, notably by architect Cliff May, and quickly became the iconic suburban home. The simple informal design captured the imaginations and suited the lifestyles of the post-war generation.

What goes around, comes around and a new generation of buyers have rediscovered the ranch.

These homes are a great investment for multiple reasons. Not only do they adapt to traditional or modern tastes, they can capture the midcentury modern aesthetic with minimal work. They are also not terribly challenging to renovate or add on to. Our Saturday 700, at 6610 Yosemite Lane, is a prime example of how to refresh the right way.

By the way this is also a rather famous street in Dallas. It is where the late, great Texie Waterman resided, the first (and some would say, only) choreographer of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders! Also of note is that this particular home was once owned by Dallas cosmetics guru Niven Morgan III… good genes in the house and the ‘hood!

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Scotty, Carrie, and Evelyn Reese (Photo: Julia Lauren Photography)

Scotty and Carrie Reese craved a Cliff May home, and they knew that Casa View claimed at least 39 of the midcentury modern architect’s California cool designs. Mindy Niehaus, their Realtor, wasn’t as familiar, but she was willing learn for the Reeses, a pair of creatives who had their hearts set on owning a Cliff May of their own.

“I told Scotty and Carrie that these homes don’t come on the market often. In fact, the average was about one listing a year!” said Niehaus, an agent with Nathan Grace Real Estate. “So they snatched up the second one we looked at, passing over the first one that had been added onto and remodeled so many times that it was no longer recognizable as a Cliff May home.”

Now a year later, Niehaus is full-on obsessed with Cliff May and Casa View, amazed that few people even knew that such a treasure trove of his designs were clustered in the sleepy transitioning neighborhood. “I asked Carrie what she thought of doing a home tour. She took my question to heart and asked the neighbors if they would be interested.”

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The Casa View Cliff May Home Tour will feature seven beautifully remodeled midcentury modern homes in East Dallas. (Photo: ScottReeseVisials.com)

You may be thrilled about pumpkin-flavored everything to hit the shelves, but us here at CandysDirt.com are over the moon about the return of fall home tour season. Yes, we’ll still hit up a Starbucks for our annual pumpkin spice latte, but nothing quite says “autumn is here!” to us like traipsing through other people’s homes with those weird little hospital booties on.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of can’t miss home tours for this fall. It skews heavily toward midcentury modern and covers quite a bit of territory:

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Cliff May Home for Sale | CandysDirt.com

Cliff May was an midcentury architect known as the father of the California ranch home. These houses were created for the sunny and warm days and nights, with large expanses of glass to minimize the lines between indoors and outdoors. Most rooms in a May-designed home have a wonderful connection between these spaces.

We are lucky in Dallas to have quite a few May homes, which will be part of the Casa View Cliff May Home Tour Oct. 15 in East Dallas’ Casa View neighborhood (we’ll be writing profiles these houses in the coming weeks). The Greater Casa View Alliance is spearheading the home tour to show off May homes and bring attention to the significant architecture of the area.

In the neighborhood, we’ve found the newly listed midcentury modern at 2508 Andrea Ln. It’s not part of the October tour, but it’s a beauty. This is a classic MCM design, with original clerestory windows, a low-slung roofline, open floorplan, and incredible views to the landscaped backyard with custom wrought iron fencing.

This home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,337 square feet, built in 1955. Its list price is a pleasant surprise at just over $200K.

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Cliff May Home Tour

Photo: Mindy Niehaus/Cliff May Home Tour

In the East Dallas neighborhood of Casa View Oaks, homes on the blocks surrounding Andrea Drive are selling like hotcakes. With their low-slung gabled roofs, walls of glass, and clerestory windows, these homes hit the highlight reel of everything everyone nowadays loves about midcentury modern design. Cliff May Homes floorplan brochure

In this transitioning neighborhood with tree-lined streets and upwardly mobile residents you’ll find the largest collection of Cliff May-designed homes in all of Dallas, according to Preservation Dallas.

Houses in Casa View Oaks are representative of May’s signature design: an open floor plan with an abundance of space and light beneath a low-pitched gable roof. Large expanses of glass—in both windows and doors—were used to create an open feeling and ease in circulation. Outdoor living was encouraged by the incorporation of patios and barbeque and picnic areas, in many cases doubling the “living space” of each house.

One of the selling points of the new May houses in Casa View was their modern conveniences, including disposals, built in ranges, a touch-plate lighting wall and radios with speakers throughout the house.

Add one part history, one part architecture, and a dash of house porn and you have the perfect recipe for a home tour.

In fact, it’s been a year or more since Nathan Grace Realtor Mindy Niehaus first hatched the idea of a Cliff May home tour in this neighborhood, and it’s finally getting its debut on Oct. 15. The tour, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and benefits the Greater Casa View Alliance, will feature seven of Cliff May’s iconic designs renovated in such diverse ways but all carrying that easygoing, California modern vibe for which May is known.

Jump for a sneak peek!

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dallas mid century modern homesIf you’ve got a hankering for a taste of Midcentury style, our Thursday Three Hundred promises total satisfaction.

Located in the Lake and Garden District’s University Manor neighborhood at 7139 Edgerton Dr., this quintessential 1950’s gem is a 3-2 with 1,502 square feet, built in 1954. It’s a time capsule of atomic era flat planes and glass walls; open, bright rooms; and manicured outdoor living spaces that makes it hard to decide which is better, indoors or out.

It was listed yesterday by Erin Birdsong with Redfin for $364,900. (There’s a broker open house today from 4-6 p.m., and a public open house Saturday, April 9, from noon to 2 p.m.)

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2367 Highwood ADeep in the heart of East Dallas, Casa View Oaks is an up-and-coming neighborhood attracting first-time homebuyers, young professionals, and families with its affordable houses, sense of community, and proximity to White Rock Lake.

Development in Casa View Oaks started in 1954 when developer H. Leslie Hill built 200 ranch-style houses ranging in size from 836 square feet to 3,600 square feet. Prices back then started at $12,000 and went up to $16,500.

Our Tuesday Two Hundred is at 2367 Highwood Dr., near Gus Thomasson and Ferguson roads. It’s a 3-2 with 1,746 square feet, built in 1954, recently remodeled by Wacasey Construction. It now boasts new low-E windows, fresh paint, refinished hardwood floors, new kitchen, designer bathrooms, decorative lighting, vintage built-ins, and a bonus room off the kitchen with an on-trend rustic wood ceiling. 2367 Highwood BLast year, Casa View Oaks celebrated its 60th anniversary. According to Preservation Dallas, this area boasts the largest collection of Cliff May designed houses in Dallas.

May, a significant American designer during the post war building boom, was considered the father of the California Ranch house. His designs received national attention and appeared on the cover of every major house magazine of the day. The mass appeal of the Ranch house led May and his partner, Chris Choate, to design a smaller, more modest version for distribution on a national scale. The houses were constructed from pre-fabricated modular panels, a revolutionary new building concept in which every part of the house was standardized and precut. Local builders were able to purchase Cliff May franchises, supplying them with house plans and the pre-fabricated modular panels, numbered and stamped with May and Choate’s names. Over 18,000 May plans were sold to local builders from around the country. Forty of those were constructed in Casa View Oaks.

Houses in Casa View Oaks are representative of May’s signature design: an open floor plan with an abundance of space and light beneath a low-pitched gable roof. Large expanses of glass—in both windows and doors—were used to create an open feeling and ease in circulation. Outdoor living was encouraged by the incorporation of patios and barbeque and picnic areas, in many cases doubling the “living space” of each house.

This home is not listed as one of the homes built by May, but shares many of its design attributes, which will undoubtedly help it sell quickly. It was listed Dec. 18 by Ryan Cox with Realty Executives Metroplex for $240,000.

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2604 Andrea Front

I almost wept when I saw this listing today. It’s so sad to see beautiful homes fall by the wayside, and this home was once an incredible one, a Cliff May-designed Midcentury Modern ranch.

Today it is a haphazard shell of a house, dirty and dusty, and mostly neglected. But therein lies the opportunity — you can own a Cliff May home for just $129,900.

That’s a deal, folks, but this home needs a lot of work. That’s actually a brutal understatement for this Casa View Oaks home at 2604 Andrea. It’s listed by RE/MAX About Dallas agent Matt Nevitt, who describes the property thusly:

This Cliff May, Mid-Century Modern Ranch, needs to be restored to its former glory! Lots of natural light in this 3 bedroom 2 full bath home. Floor to ceiling windows in the living area with a brick fireplace. Hardwood floors in the living, dining and bedrooms. Has a one car garage but could be converted back to a 2 car.

Are you up to the challenge? I think that Jenni Stolarski should buy this home and make it one of her masterpieces! This could be a cool home for anyone, even a family. It’s close to the recently renovated Harry Stone Recreation Center in an area that is going through a significant amount of gentrification. This is a serious investment home!

2604 Andrea Living 2604 Andrea Dining 2604 Andrea Bedroom 2604 Andrea Backyard

Built in 1955, this home does have a lot of original details, including clerestory windows, hardwoods, and a brick fireplace.  It’s not currently on the registry of Cliff May-designed homes, but its nearby neighbor, 2651 Andrea, is. In fact, this street is a hidden gem of California ranch-style homes. This house is being sold as an estate, so it’s an as-is transaction.

Someone snatch this amazing project up fast and keep us posted on your progress!