The Ranch House

The Ranch House

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by Alan Hess
     
 

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A uniquely American invention, the twentieth-century Ranch House first became an integral part of the building vocabulary of the American housing market after World War II, when America's demand for single-family housing was reaching overwhelmingly high levels. Though by the 1960s popular taste had moved on to embrace other types and styles of house, by the time it

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Overview

A uniquely American invention, the twentieth-century Ranch House first became an integral part of the building vocabulary of the American housing market after World War II, when America's demand for single-family housing was reaching overwhelmingly high levels. Though by the 1960s popular taste had moved on to embrace other types and styles of house, by the time it did, American architects, builders, and developers had so exhaustively and effectively promoted the Ranch House that it had come to be one of the most dominant architectural forms of the suburban landscape of the nation. From Los Angeles to Houston to Fort Lauderdale, there are entire communities where Ranch is the only architecture. Today, there is a resurgence of interest in the Ranch House, and a new generation of homebuyers is discovering its allure. For them and the many thousands of homeowners who've long known of the Ranch's charm and architectural integrity comes this ultimate look at the Ranch House.
 
Alan Hess, one of the country's foremost authorities on the twentieth-century American home, carefully traces the nearly 75-year evolution of the Ranch House before leading a tour of more than 25 iconic Ranch House dwellings, each of which demonstrates how the Ranch House continues to cater to the needs of the modern family.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two distinctly American home styles are chronicled in these books. Previously, Hess (Rancho Deluxe) depicted 19th-century ranch houses and elegant ranch house mansions of the early 20th-century that inspired the architectural style described in this book. In his new book period photographs detail the evolution of the style that emerged from Prairie style architecture, traditional haciendas of the Southwest, and early 20th-century bungalows that eventually became popular in tract home developments epitomizing post-World War II lifestyles. Most of the book contains current color photographs and descriptions of a number of architect-designed homes of the period with captions that point out the ranch house features of each-from Robert Wagner's Cliff May-designed home with stables to the modern style of a contemporary ranch house. Many of these homes are being demolished to be replaced by McMansions; hence this book is a valuable appreciation of the style. Wilson (Univ. of Virginia) gives a detailed account of the development of Colonial Revival domestic architecture from the 18th to the 21st century, discussing its popularity in a historical context. He examines some specific buildings, such as Mount Vernon in Virginia and Malabar Farm in Ohio, using plans, color, and occasionally period photographs. Although exhaustively reviewing the style, Wilson never provides a succinct, clear definition of it; a timeline would have been helpful, too. Wilson's book is recommended for large and academic collections; Hess's book is highly recommended for suburban public, academic, and professional collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781435110106
Publisher:
Sterling
Publication date:
08/30/2008
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
11.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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