Carefree California Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House
This landmark volume is an authoritative, richly illustrated examination of the origins, evolution, and influence of the California ranch house. Carefree California looks at a legendary figure in Southern California design, Cliff May, and the ubiquitous domestic icon his name evokes, the ranch house. We also see how other architects--from George Washington Smith to Rudolph Schindler--pursued different paths toward the same kind of relaxed domesticity exemplified by the ranch house. By the late '50s, much of the world was fascinated with California living and with the ranch house in particular, which derived from architects' evocation and reworking of distinctive regional traditions, allied with the pervasive romance and myths of the California frontier, and from the cultivation of a domestic architecture that could serve distinctively Californian ways of carefree living. By uncovering patterns for living that suited the automobile age among the almost archaic forms and rhythms of mission and pioneer dwellings, an extraordinary range of modernism emerged that was at once grounded in history and soaring into the space age.