Harvey Park is home to Colorado's only Cliff May / Chris Choate low-cost ranch homes. These homes were on the cutting edge of home design when they were constructed in the 50's, and continue to have qualities that many homes lack today
Some of the signature features of these homes include:
Cliff May, considered the “father” of the California modern ranch home, had a vision for a mass-produced ranch home that would bring the best ideas he developed for custom home clients to the general public. Together with architect Chris Choate, May developed the concept for the low-cost ranch home - a mass-produced house made from modular parts that could be configured a variety of ways.
The homes were sold through franchises in various cities around the country, including Denver’s DC Burns Realty & Trust Co (under the name Rocky Mountain Cliff May Homes), who constructed 170 Cliff May homes in Harvey Park in 1955. The model homes were located at Lowell Blvd and Harvard Ave, and 2505 S Lowell Blvd was featured in the 1955 Parade of Homes.
The full compliment of these homes still stands today, in a variety of conditions, from immaculate, to good, to run-down, to unrecognizable (think bay windows).
Want to learn more about Cliff May and his low-cost ranch home? Check out these online resources:
Check out this website maintained by California Realtors Doug and Rochelle Kramer. The website features an exceptional gallery of photos from a development of Cliff May low-cost ranches in Long Beach, California
The Cliff May Registry is a list of known Cliff May ranch homes across the country, provided by owners and fans. Own a Cliff May home in Harvey Park? Add it to the registry! This site also has various links and artifacts (including pamphlets, floorplans, and old advertisements).
Join a Harvey Park couple on their journey to improve their Cliff May Home.
Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House
By: Daniel P. Gregory
Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House is a highly detailed work about Cliff May's custom and mass-produced work - supported by a great deal of biographical information. This book even includes a chapter about Cliff May’s low-cost ranch homes, including scans of the original brochures from Harvey Park. Excellent full-color photography makes this book a must-have for fans of Cliff May.
Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House
By: Nicholas Olsberg & Jocelyn Gibbs
This is the latest volume covering Cliff May’s work, and was released in conjunction with an exhibit by the same name at U.C. Santa Barbara (the home of the Cliff May archives). This book goes into depth about Cliff May’s custom home work, barely mentioning his venture into mass‑production. It also looks at ranch homes by other architects in California at the same time.
Western Ranch Houses
By: Cliff May
This book was written by Cliff May in the 50s for Sunset Magazine, and continues to be in print today. Although it leaves out Cliff May’s foray into the low-cost ranch homes, it covers many of his custom home projects in great detail - and gives you a real sense for where the ideas came from for his mass-produced designs.
Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes
By: Michelle Gringeri-Brown & Jim Brown
This “best of” compilation of articles from Atomic Ranch Magazine features a variety of remodeled Cliff May Homes, amongst other fabulous mid-century ranches. A perfect source of inspiration for your next renovation.