Featured Ranch: the Jacobs House

3 min read Most experts acknowledge some Wright influence on the development of the ranch. I see some very direct lines from his Usonian experiments and later midcentury mass housing styles.

This, and the other Usonian houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are more like older cousins of the ranch – not in the direct line but still strongly connected from both a design and lifestyle philosophy point of view.

Wright started to design Usonian or USA-onian houses during the depression when he was short of clients and those he did have were equally short of funds.  They were more than cheap knockoffs, however.  Wright designed the Usonian Houses to be a “building system, adaptable to each client with whatever modifications he might need regarding space and site conditions. Continue reading “Featured Ranch: the Jacobs House”

The Ranch House in Madison, Wisconsin

2 min read The post war housing boom changed the character of American residential life in ways that still influence our daily lives now. In Madison, you can see the different “types” of post war houses, spread across neighborhoods on the east (mostly cape cod) and west (mostly ranch) sides of town.

The first post war housing boom spread out toward the manufacturing districts on Madison’s east side, filling in housing between Milwaukee and Atwood Avenues and on the west, filling in beyond Midvale Boulevard as several farms were converted into housing developments.

ranch-house-in-madison_cape-cod

The “Ranch” house form lagged slightly behind the classic Levittown style “Cape Cod” in Madison’s development.  The first houses to be added in these areas – in the first boom area from 1945 on – were the steep roofed Cape Cod styles sitting compactly centered on their lots. Continue reading “The Ranch House in Madison, Wisconsin”