House For Sale
Rare Cliff May home in East Dallas for sale with impeccable original fixtures
A rare East Dallas midcentury modern home designed by famed architect Cliff May is on the market, though as of August 21, it's not yet listed on the MLS.
Located at 2636 Materhorn Dr., it's a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with 1,337 square feet. It has a prototypical Cliff May courtyard, attached garage workshop, and in what MCM purists will find enchanting, original Formica countertops with a "linen" weave pattern, and an original stainless steel electric cooktop, all in tip-top condition.
Other original details include hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, also flawless. Vaulted ceilings create visual drama, both in the open-floorplan living room and the bedrooms. There's a fireplace in the living room.
There's also a built-in intercom system with radio made by Talk-A-Radio, which was a Dallas company in business in the '50s.
The two bathrooms feature period-style 4X4-inch ceramic tile, although they're forest green and French blue, more intense than the usual '50s color palette.
Sure hope the buyer can appreciate the inherent value in all of these original features and resist the urge to crap it up with granite and other updates that will look dated in two years.
A modern 8-foot horizontal fence offers privacy, and the garage workshop is equipped with air conditioning and heat, useful for a work space or studio.
Cliff May was a California native who was credited as the father of the California ranch house, with a great love for the outdoors and for wide open spaces. His homes were unique in that nearly every room had some kind of connection to the outdoors.
An estimated 40 of his homes were built in Dallas from 1954-1956, most in Casa View, on streets that include Materhorn, Oates Drive, Millmar Avenue, and Andrea Lane.
One of the selling points of the May houses in Casa View, says Preservation Dallas, was their modern conveniences, including disposals, built-in ranges, a touch-plate lighting wall, and radios with speakers throughout the house.
The house at 2636 Materhorn was built in 1956 and is being represented by Mindy Niehaus of Hausco, who offers history on the home and current owner, Martin Craft; his parents bought the house in 1967.
Martin's dad, Paul, was an architect, and was meticulous with house maintenance and took extraordinary pride to keep the details authentic to the style and era.
"Martin reminisces about a story of his dad searching through bulk trash, scavenging for door handles that he heard other Cliff May owners had tossed out," Niehaus says. "The home is truly a time capsule as it has been filled with iconic midcentury furniture including Eames, Nelson, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Knoll, Breuer, and more."
There are also two storage units tucked away. Niehaus says there was once a pool in the backyard, but it has been since filled in and now features a garden.
The home is listed by Hausco for $365,000. Email Mindy@hauscogroup.com for a showing.