An Artful Home in Echo Park

One of our favorite things about working in real estate is that we get to learn about the stories of the homes we sell. Each of these stories provide a glimpse into the way that the neighborhoods we love – Echo Park, Silver Lake, Highland Park, Mt. Washington, and others – developed, weaving together into the vibrant urban tapestry that is the Los Angeles we know today. Our current listing in Echo Park, located on 1964 Landa Street, comes with a history that inspires. What’s more – its history is well-documented, which is quite rare.  

1964 Landa Street was built from the ground up by a determined young couple that met right after World War II. Robert Johnson, who just came back from “a miserable year and a half in the Pacific War”, met Ruth Van Leersum when both were enrolled in Calculus class at Compton Jr. College in 1946. They soon got married, and, as both came from families that worked in carpentry and construction, they decided to follow tradition and build a home with their own 4 hands.

One sunny day in June 1947, Bob passed a FOR SALE sign at the corner where Landa Street meets Fellowship Drive, and was immediately taken by the site’s lush beauty. He envisioned a life in the “surrounding  grove of live oaks and black walnut trees, virgin ground covered by matted ivy, brambles and ancient clusters of poison oak,“ and jumped on the opportunity to purchase the plot.

The couple set off to construct their new house, ferrying materials up to Landa Street on an improvised rack atop of their car, “a board at a time”. 

During the initial period of home-construction, on weekends, Bob and Ruth camped in a tent on the building site.

The home finally took shape and they were able to move in 1947, a memorable year that was marked by an unexpected snowfall. The work continued for the next next 5 years, during which Bob and Ruth went on to have 3 children.

 In 1962, the couple separated. Ruth moved out, but for Bob, the home became a life-long project, one that he poured his heart and soul into as both an engineer and an artist. Realizing that he needed to build retaining walls, Johnson turned what could have been an ordinary concrete wall into a stunning passion project, adorning it over the years with a collection of stones, shells, petrified wood, fossils, lava rocks, polished glass, and bits of pottery. Bob continued his work on the property for decades, completing the last piece, the 70’ long tiled bench, in 2006.

Bob Johnson and his family celebrating the completion of 70′ bench

Today, the terraced steps dazzle with intricate patterns and bright colors; the magnitude of the built landscape is staggering, and brings to mind artistic landmarks like Watts Towers and Park Guell in Barcelona.

We are beyond excited to represent this unique and storied residence. Come visit us this Sunday to soak in the history and admire the views –  a stunning panorama across the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Sign, transcendent its beauty.

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Los Angeles, a City of Cinematic Homes

One might think that living in Los Angeles would render one desensitized to the movie magic, but we beg to differ. We never tire of LA’s filmic nature. It still makes us giddy to see the streets and neighborhoods where we sold homes, appear on the screen. Here’s the beginning of the Tracy Do Real Estate guide to some of our favorite cinematic portrayals of Los Angeles (to be continued!): 


This intricate crime show, adapted from Michael Connely books, harkens to film noir classics with its striking landscape-focused cinematography, and its title character – detective Harry Bosch is Bogartian in both his looks and acting style. The gripping narrative traverses the city, moving swiftly from Downtown LA to Echo Park and Silver Lake, gliding through Hollywood Hills, and dipping into the San Fernando Valley along the way. Local landmarks, like the recently reopened Angel’s Flight trolley, the City Hall and The Times building, are all given a fair share of screen time, but it is Bosch’s house, with its epic panoramic view from the living room, what we find to be the most arresting location in the series. The glass and steel design, the secluded hillside location, and the feeling of expansive space capture the essence of living in LA, an eloquent example of local residential architecture that echoes the beauty of our land. If views and glass windows are your thing, be sure to visit our Open Houses at 4121 Sea View in Mt. Washington and 739 N Ave 63 in Highland Park this weekend – both offer truly stunning views. 


An iconic film that tells the story of our most precious resource – the fresh water supply –  and the struggle to control it by various enterprising LA residents.  While not exactly historically accurate,  Chinatown certainly captures the volatile spirit of the industrial ambitions that ruled the day in the early 20th century (though the film is actually set in 1930’s). Filled with cinematic visions from the city’s varied landscapes, Chinatown is an enduring classic that must be seen. One of our favorite moments? The scene on the Echo Park Lake lake, in which detective Jake (Jack Nicholson) pretends to photograph his associate, as a cover for photographing someone else entirely – all while boating. Revisit the scene (and ride a swan-shaped boat) after visiting our Open Houses in Echo Park this Sunday  – 2118 Elsinore St. and 1964 Landa St. will be Open from 2-4P.


Another essential LA film from the 1970’s, adapted from a novel by Raymond Chandler, The Long Good Bye was directed by the brilliant director Robert Altman. The story follows a private eye, Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould), who is asked by his old buddy Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) for a ride to Tijuana. He does as asked, but when he gets back to Los Angeles, Marlowe is greeted by police about the death of Terry’s wife. We don’t want to give away the plot twists, but lovers of Los Angeles architecture will no doubt enjoy the visions of 1970’s Westside and Malibu. As for us, we were rather partial to Marlowe’s apartment, seen in the beginning of the film and located in the High Tower Court apartments in Hollywood Hills.

The apartment is notable for the grand views of the city from the floor-to-ceiling windows of its circular living room, and its unique architecture- to enter, one needs to ride an elevator up to the tower and then cross a bridge to reach the living spaces. The units in the complex come up for rent every now and then, and, in fact, the last time we saw a listing in 2014, it was for the very residence featured in the film. There do not seem to be any vacancies at the moment, but if living in a historically notable home is important to you, look out for two Rudolf Schindler lease listings we have coming up right here at Tracy Do Real Estate later this week (do get in touch if you’d like more information!)

The High Tower Apartments today

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Ryan Judd talks Real Estate on KNX newsradio

Real estate is our favorite topic for conversation, so we were quite thrilled when KNX Radio invited us to weigh in on the state of the market. Our insightful team member, Ryan Judd, spoke to Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson of In Depth about the challenges that home-buyers face today, and gave some brilliant advice on how to navigate Los Angeles’ real estate market (hint – you need an experienced agent). Tune in below and get in touch if you have any questions – we’d love to hear from you!


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Neighborhood Watch: Silver Lake

It’s hard to resist the allure of Silver Lake. Set in a gorgeous landscape, the shimmering expanse of its namesake reservoir surrounded by lush flora, this hilly neighborhood is dotted with architectural homes built by the likes of R.M. Schindler and Richard Neutra. The thoroughfares of Silver Lake Boulevard and Virgil Ave are abrim with creative energy, offering all the stylish shopping and dining one can possibly wish for (who could say no to a breakfast meeting at Sqirl? And what’s a better spot than the Dream Collective to pick up a perfect gift made by a local artisan?).  

Today, owning a home or commercial real estate in Silver Lake means being a part of Los Angeles’ best loved neighborhood; but what was it like before our time? Here are some fascinating Silver Lake facts that illuminate the layered history of this amazing enclave:


Did you know? Sunset Junction – where Sunset Boulevard meets Santa Monica Boulevard, and where you’ve likely gotten your morning coffee at Intelligentsia, is a hugely important location in the history of LGBTQ rights. It is there where the first documented demonstration for gay rights took place in the US. On your next night out, be sure to stop by The Black Cat – originally established in 1966, this atmospheric bar was the very site of one of the first demonstrations protesting police harassment of LGBT people.


Walt Disney Studios, Silver Lake, 1930

Fun fact: Silver Lake was once the geographic heart of moviemaking. In 1910’s, it was a part of a region called Edendale, which boasted the biggest film studios on the West Coast. In the 1920’s, a man Tom Mix, who was a popular star of early western films, built an elaborate frontier town set – replete with with a dusty main street, a saloon, sheriff’s Jail, bank, doctor’s office, and the simple frame houses typical of the early Western era – at what is now a corner of Silver Lake Blvd. and Glendale Blvd. The compound  became known as Mixville and was in operation though 1930’s, setting the stage for many a western classic.

In the same decade, Walt Disney had set up his first animation studio – right at the corner of Hyperion and Griffith Park, where Gelson’s Market stands today.  Feel like to re-living the old Hollywood days? Step onto a steep staircase located at the intersection of Vendome, Del Monte, and Reno (also known as Del Monte Triangle) and experience one of the most iconic set pieces of the classic Hollywood era, as seen in the iconic film made by the comedic duo of Laurel and Hardy, the 1932 talkie “The Music Box”.


Maria Rasputin (1889 – 1977), daughter of Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin, the ‘Mad Monk’, appears on the Dresden stage, circa 1935.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Silver Lake became home to many Russian emigres that fled the Soviet Revolution of 1917. Amongst them was Maria Rasputin, the daughter of Grigori Rasputin, a notorious Russian mystic and the confidant of the last Russian Tzar. After the revolution, Maria had a turbulent life that saw her briefly sheltered by the imperial family before fleeing to Europe, where she began working as a dancer and a circus performer. She came to United States as a lion tamer for the Ringling Bros., and was dramatically billed as “The Daughter of the Mad Monk” After being badly mauled by a bear, Maria left the circus, married and divorced an Angeleno, and eventually settled in quiet duplex located at 3458 Larissa Drive in Silver Lake, where she remained for the rest of her life. A marker of that time? The Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Silver Lake; established in 1923 by the members of the Russian Emigré community, its traditional Russian architecture of white walls and onion domes remains a rare vestige of that tumultuous era of political upheavals.

Enamoured by Silver Lake’s charms? Stay tuned for a beautiful listing we have coming up in just a few days, and do get in touch should you have any real estate needs or questions – we’d love to help!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

Our team is strong with so many accomplished, talented and brilliant women of real estate, and all of us are overjoyed to celebrate the International Women Day, a date that honors women’s achievements across fields, disciplines and social spheres. IWD was originally established in 1900 as part of the effort to promote equal rights and achieve universal suffrage, and is now observed by countries and nations across the globe.

Today, there are lots of ways to celebrate the IWD; here are a couple of suggestions (one contemplative and one celebratory) on how you could mark the occasion, from us at the Tracy Do Team:


Ida B. Wells, one of the nation’s most influential investigative reporters, in 1920. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

Reflect on the women that have been conspicuously absent from history, and that are honored in this timely story published in the NY Times. Entitled “Overlooked”, this project commemorates remarkable women that were not given their due in their lifetimes.


Rice noodle salad at Botanica | photo by Alan Gastelum

Visit Silver Lake to stop by the delightful Botanica – home to a charming market and a great restaurant, to partake in their day long International Women’s Day soirée. A menu of special recipes from a few of their favorite female chefs and cookbook authors will be available — the likes of Gabrielle Hamilton, Ana Sortun, Alice Waters and Claudia Roden. There will also be a flower shop pop-up from Whit Hazen (11am-3pm), a pop-up ceramics shop from D Ceramics (11am-3pm), and a tasting of women-made wines and a glass of your favorite—at $25 for a flight of five or six (5:30-7pm), plus a free yoga classes from Love Yoga, with a portion of proceeds from the day benefiting a local women’s charity. Find the festivities at 1620 Silver Lake Blvd., more info here.


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How to Find The Right Place to Live

Echo Park Lake

Most of us long to live in the way that feels most authentic and harmonious with our surroundings. That desire drives the choices we make when we decide on the kind of home we buy and how we go about decorating, but our larger surroundings, such as the neighborhood we live in, matter just as much in creating a happy life, and should influence our decision of where to buy a home.

According to Dan Buettner, who spent the past 15 years reporting for the  National Geographic on the happiest and healthiest people on the planet, one’s environment is paramount in making sure that you’ll likely to be happy for the long term.We’ve rounded up some of Dan’s suggestions to share with you as we step into spring (always the busy home-buying season), as they might come in useful as you tour Open Houses and envision your life in a new place.

Buettner suggests that, in terms of choosing a place to live, people who live near water—whether it’s a lake or river or an ocean—are about 10 percent more likely to be happy than people who don’t. Buettner also says that people who live in medium-sized cities are more likely to be happy than the anonymity of a big city or perhaps the too in-your-face, limited-possibility environment of a tiny town. You’re more likely to be happy if your house has a sidewalk, and if you live in a bikeable place.

Where do these suggestions take you in Los Angeles? For those that love bodies of water, the coastal areas like Venice Beach and Santa Monica are the obvious answers, but we also love Silver Lake with its beautiful Reservoir, Echo Park with its stunning lake and quiant paddle boats, and Atwater Village and Highland Park with their proximity to LA River and Arroyo Seco streams. All these neighborhoods have plenty of sidewalks and are bike-friendly, and have scenic views – by the way, there are also studies which claim that merely observing a fine view is health-enhancing, so tack that on to the benefits of living in LA.

Once you are happy with your location, Buettner offers some advice on what one can do to add a bit more joy to your immediate surroundings. “One facet of happiness is sum of positive emotions. So I like the idea of a “pride shrine”—a place in your house that you pass a lot where you put pictures that trigger pleasant memories. Or diplomas or awards that remind you of accomplishments.” Research also points at flowers and plants as sources of daily happiness, so get those in your home ASAP, along with six to seven hours of socializing a day. — That’s right! According to Buettner’s research, the happiest people communicate with other people that many hours per diem. (This must be one reason that we love working as real estate agents!)

If you are curious about a particular Los Angeles neighborhood or find yourself in need of advice regarding buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we would love to hear from you. Contact us and we’d be glad to discuss your real estate goals. And, according to Buettner’s research, if you give us a call, you’re pretty much guaranteed to become happier – by putting in some time towards those six to seven hours of socializing!

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Your Weekend Guide: February 24th – 25th

The jacarandas are abloom and the last week of February is nearly upon us. Let’s make the most of what remains of the shortest month of the year, here are some ideas for things to do and see this weekend:

February 24th and 25th, 10A-5P


We are delighted to unveil and celebrate Colline, an intimate community of nine new single-family residences right in the heart of the hip and hilly neighborhood of Echo Park. Discreetly situated along the gentle rise and descent of a street-to-street lot, Colline takes its name from the French word for “hill” and enjoys a prime location in one of Echo Park’s best pockets. Our team’s excitement about these beautiful homes is aptly expressed in Tracy Do’s words, “Colline brings a new level of affordable luxury to the neighborhood, and the views from the rooftop decks and terraces are among the best that I have ever seen.” Come take a look! 1511 Lake Shore Ave., Los Angeles, 90026, we’ll be Open Sat. and Sun. from 10A-5P. Learn more at

Saturday, Feb. 24. 11A -7P

Feast on delectable desserts while perusing the latest collection from sustainable apparel company Reformation. Chef Christina Tosi is bringing her renown NYC-based Milk Bar out West, so be sure to stop by and taste the famous cookies, truffles and the new Crack Pie Latte, debuting for the first time this weekend. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Reformation, 8000 Melrose Ave., L.A. Cost: $3-$10


Take all your change and dollar bills and head over to Walt’s in Eagle Rock’s – the retro-styled new pinball and arcade neighborhood bar is now open. Located inside the wonderful Art Deco style Connors Plumbing building, which now sports an additional sign with multi-colored letters spelling “PINBALL!”, this throwback establishment takes you back to 20th century in the most pleasing of ways. Find Walt’s at 4680 Eagle Rock Boulevard, open from 11am to 2am daily.

Saturday, February 24th, 6-10pm at Automata

Miwa Matreyek | This World Made Itself

A show that brings together several artists that work in the medium of projection and shadow while engaging themes of place, resistance and dreams – a poetic premise that promises to enchant. The exhibition, organized by Janie Geiser, Bora Kyung Min Lee, Miwa Matreyek, Laurie O’Brien, Mat Rappaport and Susan Simpson is generously hosted by Automata, a non-profit dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices and v1b3, an artist-led project that explores the impact of media in the built environment through curated site-specific interventions, presentations and published documentation. More information here.

Saturday, Feb. 24. 1-3 p.m. $35 members, $45 non-members.

It seems that coffee gets a lot of attention these days, but if you are a dedicated tea lover, this event is tailor-made just for you. This Saturday, a noted herbalist, author and educator Emily Han will lead a workshop that explores the fine art of tea-infused beverages. You’ll learn about flavor profiles and infusion techniques, craft and taste mocktails and will also create your own tea syrup – which you’ll get to to take home. Advance registration required. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge, 818.949.4200.

Sunday, Feb. 25

Cassoulet | Serious Eats | photo by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

It’s been rather chilly these last few days, the sort of weather that makes a bowl of heartly Cassoulet a welcome treat.  We are in luck, because the 15th annual Cassoulet Night at Lucques is this Sunday! The evening will feature a three-course menu that features a salad of young greens with local walnuts and orange blossom honey, and a gâteau Basque with prune ice cream and almonds, and of course be the Cassoulet de Maison, prepared with duck and pork confit, garlic sausage and white beans. Come for dinner or get a single serving to-go. Call 323-655-6277 to reserve your space or place an order. Visit for more information.

Sunday, Feb. 25, 3–6 PM, through Sunday, March 4, 2018, Mackey Apartments

One can always rely on MAK center to provide interesting and smart programming, and this show is no exception. Head over to the Mackey apartments to see HOME, HOOD, HILL, an exhibition of work by Paris-based artist Baptist Penetticobra, Vienna-based artist Flora Hauser, and Mexico City-based architectural collective WASA (Guillermo Acosta, Alejandra Avalos and Alan Rios) that have been in residency at Mackey Apartments. WASA, in particular, addresses a topic close to home (pun intended) for us as real estate professionals, by “reflecting on new ways of understanding and creating private space: specifically, home.” Visit MAK Center for more information:

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Tracy Do in Voyage LA!

Get to know Tracy Do and read all about her Real Estate journey in this fantastic interview published in today’s VoyageLA:

Tracy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

I graduated from USC with a degree in Art History. While I do love art, I’m also a very practical person and had taken business classes along the way. It wasn’t long before I was working in real estate. My first job was “behind the scenes,” at a law firm that specialized in the representation of Homeowners Associations. I learned a lot and came to realize that I wanted to do residential sales. I got my real estate license and started at a residential brokerage on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. By that time, I was married with a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Balancing my work and my family life, I set out to build a business based on the principals of hard work, creativity and the highest standards of professionalism.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

The biggest challenge I have faced happened at end of 2007, when the real estate market veered into its downturn. This without a doubt was the defining moment of my career. I had every reason to throw in the towel, but I realized two things. First, I could not do that to my clients who needed me. Second, I didn’t want to quit. I love this work, and even if it was going to be a lot more difficult, I knew the market would rebound in time. Well, it took a while. One of my listings was on the market for an entire year. One thing about me is that I do not quit — ever. I eventually sold that house and many others as well. Along the way I learned so much, it was like a graduate-level education. My negotiating skills got a great workout, and I learned a lot about people which helped me develop a stronger sense of what customer service really means. To this day, my clients from that era really appreciate that we were able to weather that storm together and arrive at this much better place.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tracy Do story. Tell us more about the business.

I am the leader of a team of realtors providing services throughout some of LA’s best neighborhoods including the Eastside, Northeast LA and parts of the Valley. What I am most proud of is that our team was built from the ground up. I have trained agents on my team to adhere to my core value of providing excellent service that is built around the unique needs of each client. What sets our team apart is our ability to work with so many different types of clients to the highest possible standards of our profession. This includes seasoned homeowners, first-time home buyers, investors, design build firms and developers of new homes. The fact that we are hired by so many institutional builders is to me a tremendous validation and tells me that we’re doing this job well.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?

There’s an old saying, “you make your own luck.”

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Inspired by Spring

With a gorgeous climate that’s made for blooming and sprouting, there is no better place than LA to grow your own produce. The farm-to-table movement has gotten very popular, but for most people it remains a term one mostly encounters when eating out –– but it doesn’t have to stay that way. No matter if your residence has an ample rear yard or a minimalist balcony, you too can create your own urban orchard, scaled to the exact proportions of your available outdoor space.

 Buy a Home In Los Feliz

So what is the best way to start? If you live in a home with a yard, one of the first decisions you have to make is the shape and form of your garden. To figure that out, you might want to test the soil for the presence of lead or any other problems – the findings will help you determine if you can plant directly into the ground. If all is clear, great! Get out your garden tools and start by digging up your garden beds and mixing in compost – fertilized and aerated soil allows water and oxygen to reach the plants’ roots quickly, resulting in a better crop.

 Buy a Home In Los Feliz

Once done with prepping soil, consult this trusty planting calendar – we like the one provided By Enrich LA, a wonderful local organization devoted to cultivating gardens across schools in LA – and plant the seeds for the harvest of your dreams. If you run into issues with your soil, raised garden beds might be the solution – easy to construct with a few 2” x 4”, the garden beds are similar to planters, and have the added benefit of being easier on your back when bending over to tend to your garden. Check out these instructions from Lowe’s on how to build a garden bed, and head over to Eartheasy for more installation tips.

 Buy a Home In Los Feliz

What if you have a limited outdoor space? If that’s the case, you might consider utilizing the parkway – the space between the sidewalk and the curb – to get your patch of green going. Owners and renters in LA are usually permitted to plant vegetables on the parkway as long as the sidewalk is not obstructed, and most neighbors are likely to welcome a garden in progress, and perhaps even be inspired to contribute, or start their own mini veggie field. That said, we do recommend checking in with the city zoning department before starting any public space gardens or urban farm projects, to make sure your farm-to-table dreams are kept within the letter of the law.

 Buy a Home In Los Feliz

Another great way to create an urban farm is to set one up right on the roof. With an increasing popularity of the denser way of living, a lot of Los Angeles residents are choosing to live in small-lot homes; such residencies frequently have fabulous rooftop decks where one can entertain, relax – and grow vegetables. The amazing thing about setting up a rooftop garden is that in addition to suppling your meals with home-grown lettuces, kales, arugulas and other vegetative crops that are easy to nurture, your plants literally make LA greener, potentially making an eco-friendly impact on our environment. Learn more about nurturing plants on your roof by checking out LA Urban Farms, and if you are attracted to the idea of small-lot, sustainable living, take a look at the communities we represent in a choice of LA neighborhoods from Los Feliz to the Valley and contact us to arrange a viewing. 

 Buy a Home In Los Feliz

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Cliff May: the origins of the California Ranch House

Southern California is famous for its extraordinary architecture, its built history particularly resonant with exceptional examples of Mid-Century Modern residences. It was a fruitful era for many architects with varying focus, some determined to experiment, others concerned with down-to-earth pragmatism. Among them, one prolific builder undoubtedly stands out as someone that combined both tendencies – an architect by the name of Cliff May, also known as the father of California Ranch House, the post-WWII dream home.

Cliff May

A descendant of a family that lived in California for several generations, Cliff May grew up on a sprawling San Diego ranch; intertwined with nature, his upbringing left him with a deep and real love of California living. In one of his interviews, May recalled the home where he grew up in, a U-shaped Adobe style home built around 1860’s, and credited its influence on the way he set out to design homes for his contemporaries: “ The early Californians had the right idea. They built for the seclusion and comfort of their families, for the enjoyment of relaxation in their homes. We want to perpetuate these ideas of home building.”

Cliff May’s path to architecture was far from standard: he first set out to study business, but left school when the stock market crashed in 1929. An aspiring saxophone player, he organized a Cliff May Orchestra and began playing shows around San Diego, while also trying his hand at building furniture. A realtor friend liked the Monterey style pieces and offered to exhibit May’s furnishings at a home that he was trying to sell. The house sold quickly, and Cliff moved the furniture to another one of his friend’s listings. When the second house sold as well, the friend suggested, why doesn’t Cliff build a house himself? Cliff agreed, and thus began an illustrious career.

Cliff May design | 1939

It is worth noting that building a house in 1930’s California was rather different that it is now, and those that are going through the process to build a new home will marvel at the way that  Cliff May went about preparing for construction. Here’s how he described it in a 1982 interview with Marlene Laskey:

“We went out to get the building permit, and I remember Oscar Knecht was the chief building inspector of San Diego. I came in with my drawing, not the first one, but one of the later ones, and there were only two pages to look over. There wasn’t big building in San Diego in the thirties. He looked it over, and he said, “This looks pretty good. Do you know how to build it?” I said, “I can build it.”

The first house that May built sold easily, despite the Depression. Cliff continued his success and went on to construct 50 other homes in San Diego in the next few years.  In 1935, he decided to move to Los Angeles, which became his second home. Though he was never licensed as an architect, Mr. May went on to pioneer an architectural style that is coveted to this day, and designed more than a thousand custom and tract homes over the decades of his formidable practice.

Cliff May Model Home Brochure | 1952

Cliff May was passionate about designing for the way that people wanted to live – he built homes that brought pleasure to their inhabitants, providing an equal measure of wide open space to commune with family and friends, a feeling of nature at arms reach, and an ample space for privacy and quiet times. A keen innovator, May was quick to adapt the latest home technologies and incorporate them in his designs. As the Mid-Century Style gained popularity, May embraced the large expanse of glass and sliding doors, developing the iconic look of the California Ranch Style home that know and love today – and which is encapsulated in our current listing, 3032 Shipway Ave in Long Beach.

3032 Shipway Ave Long Beach

3032 Shipway Ave | Long Beach

The home is a part of the coveted Rancho Estates tract in prime Long Beach, a stone’s throw from El Dorado Park and Nature Center and within easy reach of beach and Alamitos Bay. The beautiful residence is thoughtfully refurbished with respect to the original design, and is a great example of Cliff May aesthetic, a spacious, gracious home with a seamless connection to the outdoors. We are delighted to represent this home, and are especially pleased to work with our new team member, Elias Tebache, in bringing it to the market. Elias, who joined Tracy Do Team in November 2017, brings his architecture training and expertise to the table – having guided both buyers and sellers of homes designed by noted architects including Case Study Architect Kemper Nomland, A. Quincy Jones, Claude Oakland and Armand Le Tourneau through numerous successful transactions.

3032 Shipway Ave Long Beach

3032 Shipway Ave | Long Beach

If you are looking for a beautiful Mid-Century Modern home amidst idyllic setting – and just a short drive to the ocean – to call your very own, this is the one. Get in touch if you would like to make a viewing appointment, and, if you need to consult about a purchase or a sale of an architecturally significant home, we are just a phone call (or an email) away, and would love to hear from you.

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