2755 North Park (1987)


This ranch house preserves many of the architectural and decorative features of the 1950s. It was designed and built in 1950 by L. M. Gunderson as a retirement home for a couple who wished to move from their larger, more traditional home on Fairmount Boulevard.


Its low, sprawling lines and glazed brick, stone, and wood exterior are typical of the ranch style and reminiscent of both its American West origins and of postwar suburban affluence. Less typical is the attached garage, on the side rather than at the front of the house. Gunderson is said to have explained this by asking, "Why should the garage have the best view?"


The view of the lake is clearly central to the design of the house. Picture windows dominate the living and dining rooms and the master bedroom. The openness is accentuated by the elimination of dividing walls between major first-floor rooms and the creation of a spacious living-dining area, reflective also of the 1950s belief in family togetherness.


The present owner has preserved the original decor and appointments, which he characterizes as "post-war excessive": a front door inset with whorls of architectural glass, which appears throughout the first floor; stainless steel kitchen cupboards; bamboo woodwork in the breakfast room; a lavish use of tile in the bathrooms; vivid shades of rose and pink in the dining and living rooms; and a three-tone turquoise, air-conditioned 1955 Desoto Coronado in the garage.