The ranch house is once again in high favor among house hunters. The style caught on in the prosperous decade after WWII, when affordable automobiles replaced buses for passenger transportation. You can tell ranch houses were not designed for inner-city or early suburban neighborhoods, because they are sited with their longest side facing the street and require much broader lots than a Victorian cottage, a shotgun, a bungalow, or a four-square.
Their benefits often are overlooked, especially now that the price of gas makes returning to the inner city to find a more walkable, less car-dependent way of living a compelling option. Ranch-house subdivisions are found outside the inner city and beyond the early streetcar suburbs where diverse commercial development is well established.
This house, one block from the Memphis Racquet Club, enjoys all that the Sanderlin area has to offer. Within walking distance are restaurants, movies, groceries, and tons of services. You might have to jump in the gas-guzzler because you've got more distant errands to run, but then, so do folks in Midtown.
Most mid-century suburbs have large lots, as here, with more yard in front of the house than out back. It seems like a lot of grass to mow, but if you hanker for a pool or maybe a garden, it's easy to accommodate. The capacious carport could be turned into a grand front porch with parking for three cars off to the side. The backyard could easily become a courtyard with dense landscaping around a watery oasis. And some clever screening with hedges would allow parts of the front yard to be a secluded play area or vegetable garden.
Like most ranches, this house is one story. The open floor plan championed by Frank Lloyd Wright influences these houses so that dining rooms are often set in an ell off the kitchen, as here, which makes the public spaces feel larger and allows for easy entertaining. This would be a great house to showcase a modern furniture collection. Recessed lighting to accentuate art would be easy to install, since it's all attic above.
The house has had many updates during the current owners' tenure. The high ribbon windows all have new thermal, low-E glass. They provide lots of good light while maintaining maximal privacy. They make furniture placement easier, too. The deep roof overhangs also guarantee a shady interior during the summer.
The kitchen has natural maple cabinets and a large stone-like ceramic floor, as does the adjoining breakfast room or seating area. A built-in banquette would work well here.
The living room, dining room, and four bedrooms have their original quarter-sawn oak flooring, although it has been freshly protected with new wall-to-wall carpeting in all the bedrooms.
Closets are plentiful. The laundry area has a large closet opposite it for general storage. A rear addition, currently used as a media room, has two closets with built-ins and would also make a perfect master suite with an attached office or sitting room.
This is an easy house to live in and centrally located within the Shady Grove Elementary and White Station High School districts.
Green Acres is the place to be if you would like a mid-century home that offers the same convenience as oft-touted Midtown neighborhoods.
420 Green Acres Road
1,900 square feet
4 bedroom, 2 baths
Realtor: Kendall Haney, 725-1968
Agent: Lisa Buckner, 246-5433