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The Split Level Home

American culture of the 1960s....

by Anonymousreply 2507/14/2013

They were not very popular in my town.

The middle class was partial to stabbed ranches in the '60s.

by Anonymousreply 107/11/2013

There's a lot of them where I grew up on Long Island. I have to say, the weird configuration does create the illusion of more space inside.

by Anonymousreply 207/11/2013

Rifting off this post, other things that were considered cool from the era that house was built : step-down living room ( or sunken living room) , wet-bar, paneled den, screened-in patio, built-in shutters, wall to wall carpeting, sectional sofa, beamed ceiling, all-electric kitchen, Nu-tone intercom, built -in Nu-tone countertop blender, cedar closet, frosted glass windows, radiant heating.

Any others ?

by Anonymousreply 307/11/2013


by Anonymousreply 407/11/2013

Ovens built into the kitchen wall, often one atop another.

by Anonymousreply 507/11/2013

What is a "stabbed ranch"?

by Anonymousreply 607/11/2013

Ah, most ovens are still that way, 50 years later

by Anonymousreply 707/11/2013

Harvest gold and avocado green. We had BOTH those colors in our kitchen in the 70's. I think it looked nicer than the slate blue and white my mother had in the 80's.

by Anonymousreply 807/11/2013

Oops, ha ha! Thanks.


Damned voice recognition software.

by Anonymousreply 907/11/2013

OK then, what is a "slabbed ranch"? I have lived in ranches (So. Calif.) so I know what those are but not the "slabbed" part.

by Anonymousreply 1007/11/2013

R10, you have houses with basements, houses with crawl spaces (mostly South), and houses built on a slab of concrete. A slab house is ok, I guess, if you live in a temperate climate. In the winter, however, you can feel the cold through the floor regardless of how well you heat the house.

In the Midwest, many of our split level homes privacy screens with cutouts, kitchens on the lower level (basement), iron railings, and public rooms on the upper floor.

Oh, and LLadros in scary places.

by Anonymousreply 1107/11/2013

A slab ranch house is build on a concrete slab and does not have a basement. It may, however, have a small crawl space.

by Anonymousreply 1207/11/2013

I grew up in a split level. It came in handy during my teen years, when my parents would retire to the living room and I could engage in nefarious activities in the downstairs den, unnoticed.

by Anonymousreply 1307/11/2013

My mother's house in Levittown has no basement. It sits on a concrete slab, but I can't say in winter we were ever cold. In fact, it was the opposite! Levittown homes were built with 'radiant heating' which means copper coils were set into the concrete and hot water circulated though. The floor got hot enough in some spots that we sat on pillows on the floor (we weren't allowed on the sofa) and certain spot of the linoleum actually got a rounded bubbled type appearance over the hotter coils. We didnt' miss having a basement because we never had one!

by Anonymousreply 1407/11/2013

[quote]My mother's house in Levittown has no basement.

That was probably a Levitt House. The first "development" built specifically for Ware Vets returning from WWII.

Those were marvels of efficiency. My folks first house, they paid 5k for it.

by Anonymousreply 1507/11/2013

R3, Joe, your ranch houses were so much cooler than these suburban NY split levels.

by Anonymousreply 1607/11/2013

R3, I grew up in an Eichler home, which, like many Eichler homes, had a front entry atrium that you had to pass through to get to the main part of the house. There were no windows in the front of the house, except for transom windows above the door, but the back of the house was all floor-to-ceiling windows.

by Anonymousreply 1707/11/2013

We had a "raised ranch" (Midwest). Looked like a two story from the street but it was built into a hillside and the bedrooms, living room and kitchen were all upstairs which opened on to the back yard. Bi-level and tri-level were the othe two floor plans in the subdivision.

by Anonymousreply 1807/11/2013

Uh yeah, R15. My mother lives in Levittown, I spent my first 20 years there. 99% of the homes there are Levitt houses.

by Anonymousreply 1907/11/2013

I was raised to loathe split level homes. Or, as my mother calls them, tri-levels.

by Anonymousreply 2007/11/2013

I've found that in my town, the quality and niceness of split-level homes varies greatly. The ones build in the 1960s up through the mid-70s are always well-appointed, architecturally interesting outside, a lot of neat features on the inside. From the late 70s and into the 80s though, the split levels getting built in town were absolutely dull inside and out. My best friend's house was like this, everything was white, and there was no trim on anything except the doorways and some windows. Not even baseboard. As a complete contrast to that, my other friend's house was built in the 60s, and it was the most opulent split level I'd ever seen. They actually showed me a vintage issue of Better Homes and Gardens that it was featured in.

by Anonymousreply 2107/11/2013

r17, are you from the Bay Area? Grew up in an identical model in WC in the 60's and 70's. Have seen identical models in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and San Rafael. Atriums rocked!

by Anonymousreply 2207/11/2013

Note of caution: when you get old and realize what an awful mistake you made, those damned stair-climbers are expensive!

by Anonymousreply 2307/12/2013

[quote]Rifting off this post, other things that were considered cool from the era that house was built : step-down living room ( or sunken living room) , wet-bar, paneled den ...

Also, the Frigidaire Flair, with dual ovens and pull-out stove (pics at link). I've posted about this before, but I'm posting again because I'm STILL envious of our next-door neighbours who had one.

by Anonymousreply 2407/13/2013

R17 I loved Eichler homes when I was a teen. They seemed so exotic in my suburban neighborhood of brick ranch and split level houses. I loved that when you first saw them they seemed to have no windows, and were so closed off, but once you got inside they were so open, so many windows to the outside and many of the rooms had cathedral ceilings.

My first real girlfriend’s family had one and I would wander around their house till I’d memorized it enough that I could draw up the floor plan, and then make it better. My relationship with her didn’t last more than a semester but I still see her once in a while and I thank her for letting me into her home because that house was what started me on the path to becoming an architect. When I inherited some money a few years ago the house I bought was an Eichler that I completely remodeled back to the original look. I’ve lived in it ever since.

by Anonymousreply 2507/14/2013
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