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This is a small node dedicated to suburban ranch houses, particularly those found in Florida. I grew up in a Dunedin ranch house but, like most folks, never thought much about it. The style was so ubiquitous from the 1930s through the 1970s that few people saw it as a "style" at all; this was simply where everyone lived. With the rise of new urbanist efforts to challenge the dominant car-centered design of American suburbs, we only now begin to find that the ranch home does not necessarily offer the best of all possible worlds. Even so, the simplicity of the ranch -- its open floor plans, its subdued ornament, its horizontal freedom -- appeals to me even today.
About Architecture's overview: http://architecture.about.com/library/bl-ranch.htm
Alan Hess's book, The Ranch House (Harry N. Abrams) - another contribution to the writing of architectural history by the San Jose Mercury News critic.
David E. Brady's "Chateau Brady" http://davidbrady.com/times/latbrady.html - an article about America's most famous split-level ranch house (transformed into a two-story by the magic of television).
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