A Birdhouse in Paradise:
William Mellenthin and the San Fernando Valley Ranch Homes
Featuring his son, Mike Mellenthin
Written by Chris Lukather | Foreword by Alan Hess
In the 1950s housing developments began peppering the land outside of Los Angeles. Affordable, family-friendly communities like the San Fernando Valley initiated an exodus to the suburbs. It was in the Valley that designer-builder William Mellenthin developed his singular brand of cozy, charming home. They became known as the Mellenthin Birdhouse ranch home—so called because they featured a cupola or dovecote built prominently into the roof. Architect, author and historian, Alan Hess, describes why Mellenthin’s homes were so coveted. “The dovecote, or bird house, (Mellenthin) incorporated prominently into gables facing the public street reinforced the straight-shooting, unpretentious utilitarianism and friendly rural values of the times.”
Gathering information from original Mellenthin homeowners, articles, brochures, as well as the Mellenthin family, A Birdhouse in Paradise reveals many facts and details about this industrious and influential man. The volume features rare photographs and documents (many never seen before) that illustrate a young, burgeoning San Fernando Valley as it became “the new suburban paradise,” as well as floorplans and photographs of the iconic, Ranch Home.
Contains new information on William Mellenthin’s son, Mike Mellenthin, a home builder like his father. Mike graduated from USC with a degree in engineering. Mike was a numbers guy and his homes were built to perfection—updating and improving upon the design & build of the famous Birdhouse ranch homes that his father had originated.
Color and B&W Photographs and Drawings
Size: 10x10 inches
Soft Cover, Perfect Bound
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