November 26, 2006 Mid-Century Modern

D.C.’s ‘Disappearing’ Ranches

The Washington Post Real Estate section ran a piece yesterday detailing the increasing trend of people in the D.C. area turning modest mid-century single-story ranches into anything other than modest mid-century single-story ranches.

Described as “an American architectural problem child,” the Post article says “ranches fell into disfavor, and now it seems we can’t get rid of them fast enough.” As you can see, the story takes a derisive view of the mid-century ranch, although it does quote Jim Brown, the founder of Atomic Ranch magazine, calling for ranches to be left essentially as they are.

I agree with Brown. I’ve been working on restoring with period details my own 1956 split-level, but people can do whatever they want. If people want to take a 2,000 square foot ranch and turn it into a 11,000 square foot New England-style home, they can do it. But do they need all 11,000 square feet to be happy?