Clipped From Indiana Gazette
Cheddar Cheese and Mexican Spice fla- nutrition label registers a big zero. One-story ranch house celebrates 50 years By JILL SABULIS Cox News Service ATLANTA—It's the baby boomer launch pad, Home Sweet Home to a generation. The American ranch house is 50 years old and newly eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places. "I think it's a hoot," said Jeanne Gura of the Atlanta Preservation Center, which is honoring the anniversary with a ranch house tour. "People just don't realize that this uniquely American style of architecture has become historically significant. Who would have thought?" Certainly not some of the homeowners who are opening their ranches for the tour. Landscape architect Rob Takigu- chi, 48, and his wife, Mimi Nelson- Takiguchi, a 44-year-old poet, said they were floored by the idea that their 1956 redbrick ranch is a piece of history. "I feel like Ozzie Nelson," Takiguchi said — mired in the '50s. "But I know that I really like the house." The three-bedroom, 2%-bath ranch had belonged to Nelson-Taki- guchi's parents, and she grew up there during the days of Sputnik, the space race, the Cold War. Nothing has been changed, not the cedar paneling or the harvest-gold appliances. "When I first moved here (1% years ago), I was thinking, 'Gosh, we could add a story here and do this and that,' " Takiguchi said. "But then I stopped and said, 'What am I thinking?' This is beautiful!" Takiguchi's enthusiasm isn't universal. Atlanta architect Amy Aronson has written "Recreating the Ranch" and is in negotiations for its publication in 1997. She lives in a renovated ranch house but admits that fondness for the plain one-story dwelling is "an acquired taste." "We feel about ranches today the way people looked at Victorians in the 1950s," she said. "Victorians were seen as dated, passe. People today want to take the ranch and turn it into a McMansion, with additions and ornamentation, which is fine, but you can also do great things to the interior while preserving the integrity of the architecture." Still, "integrity" and "architecture" aren't often linked with "ranch." In fact, the hefty Encyclopedia of American Architecture doesn't even mention it. "The ranch fits into the era of modern architecture, which is stripped down to its essence," said architectural historian Tom Han-'- chett, who completed a Mellon fellowship in Southern architecture at Emory University last year. "Today, simplicity is out of date. We're- back to details and gewgaws." That's a sad slide from the ranch's heyday, the years just after World : War II, when Southern California: architect Cliff May published his ranch design and 15,000 models of the plan went up in a matter of: months.