Here’s a real blast from the past from Burbed reader Swan. You’ve probably noticed all the 1950s-era tract houses in Silicon Valley, as they’re the reason there’s so little room to build anything new except next to high-value spots like freeways, train tracks, airports and power lines! But did you ever wonder what it was like for people buying these houses when they were new?
Now you can get just a taste of that idea, because look what Swan has to share. Here’s the actual SALES BROUCHURE for the Orchard Park development in Santa Clara. The builder was Kaiser Homes.
Let’s put on our fedoras or our cloches (and no cross-dressing, that was not acceptable where we’re headed) and take a ride back to Santa Clara, 1950!
Oh my, California “Rancho” models! Looks like using lots of quote marks was quite the thing in 1950. Even the name of the development is in quotes, and there’s also 3-bedroom smartly styled “1950 Creations” (note no period).
The picture above is the “Studio Rancho” model, just in case you’ve seen one lately. Anyway, let’s continue with our trip down memory lane.
Whoa, lots of text here, some quite tiny. I’ll type it up so you don’t have to squint, right after the break.
HOMES OF BEAUTY and ENDURING VALUE.. IN A COMMUNITY of CONVENIENCE and CHARM FOREVER
I swear, I don’t write this stuff, they did.
Never before such Quality Features in popular-priced homes
Split brick fireplaces in all models ★ No. 1 Select Red Cedar shingles and white Dolomite heat-reflecting roofs ★ Solid sheathed exterior wall ★ “Wolmanized” floor girders ★ Gutters and drains complete with all homes ★ 2” x 6” T&G “Vibrationless” subfloors, “Gibraltar” construction ★ Dual “Holly” Console wall furnace with separate high, low, medium controls ★ “Fenestra” steel casement rolled edge windows with rotors and screens ★ 2” x 8” saw-sized insulated redwood ceiling ★ Select oak flooring ★ Floor-to-ceiling individual wardrobe closets ★ Built-in vanity with plate glass mirror ★ Spacious “picture” windows with “hobby” shelves in 3-bedroom models ★ Natural Mahogany wall with built-in bookcases and bar in den ★ Solid Mahogany paneled dinette wall ★ “Queen Mary” Adjusto showers ★ Floor-to-ceiling closet in bath convertible to stall shower ★ Recessed kitchen cabinets ★ Thermostatic Heat in all 3 bedroom models ★ Double sink with chrome swing spout ★ Sliding glass panel “pass through” from kitchen to dining area in Rancho models ★ Ceramic tile (Hermosa and Pomona) in tub enclosures and floors ★ “Formica” counter and splash ★ “Schlage” polished brass hardware ★ Heavy duty steel medicine cabinet with plate glass mirror ★ Lifetime Chrome Finish Bath Accessories ★ Polished brass knocker and chimes ★ Beam edge garage doors ★ Choice of interior wall color, tile color, linoleum color, “Marlite” . . .
“Wolmanized”? Help me out here! What’s “Marlite”? What is Pomona tile and why doesn’t it merit any quotation marks? At least I do remember what a “picture” window is, because the house I grew up in (built in 1954) had one. It’s just a big window in landscape orientation. And wow, they had Formica back in 1950!
Onward with the quotation marks, under the photo of the (white, of course) kids on a bike and a trike, next to the sign that says “HAPPY Children LIVE HERE DRIVE SLOWLY Kaiser Homes”
“Pretty as a picture” Orchard Park is located between the exclusive “Rose Garden” district of San Jose and the prim “University Square” residential section of Santa Clara. A fine network of major thoroughfares make “Orchard Park” easily and quickly accessible. The “Park Avenue Luna Park” City bus line traverses “Orchard Park” on a twenty minute schedule. Schools, churches, stores and recreational areas are right at hand. Here, among congenial neighbors is living at its very best. Special low prices and terms for homes in the new unit make it easy for you and yours to live here too—if you act at once. SEE the lovely new homes in the new unit TODAY.
See the new “Studio Rancho” Popular California Ranch House Model delightfully furnished by L. LION & SONS
OPEN DAILY & SUNDAY IN NEW “ORCHARD PARK” UNIT
And that second paragraph uses about six different unrelated fonts in this BIZARRE mix of CAPITALS and lower-case PRESAGING REALTARDSPEAK through THE decades.
So University Square is “prim”? I have a different word for that neighborhood, which also has four letters. So, anyone ever heard of Luna Park? And how about that fine network of major thoroughfares? We’ll be taking another look at them soon. But you have to act at once. TODAY.
A COMPLETE HOME – TWO CAR GARAGE – WIDE LEVEL LOT WITH TREES – ALL IMPROVEMENTS INCLUDING: SEWERS, SIDEWALKS, GRACEFULLY WINDING PAVED STREETS, ELECTROLIERS, STREETS TREES AND SHRUBBERY SELECTION — ALL INCLUDED IN OPENING SALES PRICE OF HOMES IN NEW UNIT.
And let’s have a blow-up of that map so you can admire the fine network of major thoroughfares, as soon as I’ve figured out what the heck electroliers are.
Swan assures me that “Los Gatos Rd” is now Winchester, as I was surprised a major thoroughfare like that one was missing from the fine network. Here’s the text below the map:
KAISER HOMES “ORCHARD PARK”
OFFICE ON NEWHALL ST. JUST WEST OF BASCOM AVE.
HOW TO GO: FROM SAN JOSE TAKE PARK AVE. BUS TO END OF LINE, OR DRIVE NORTH on the ALAMEDA TO NEWHALL STREET, THEN WEST ON NEWHALL TO TRACT ENTRANCE. FROM SANTA CLARA DRIVE SOUTH ON WASHINGTON TO NEWHALL STREET.
NEW UNIT HOMES LESS THAN $10,000 ORCHARD PARK NEW UNIT TERMS As Low As $59.50 per month
And here is the same area in the map, today. Sorry about the freeway and the airport getting in the way of the fine network of major thoroughfares.
Are you ready… for the INSIDE of the brochure now? Yes, there’s MORE.
Here are the six home models you can choose from. Fortunately I’ve got the half-sections blown up so you can see the model homes a little better. Here are The Studio, The New Englander, and The Carmel.
Plus there’s a floorplan above of the 2 bedroom plan (bedrooms on the right, kitchen in upper left, living room lower left, the garage shares a wall with the living room but no door into the house). Here are both plans a little bigger.
But wait, there’s much more! The Palm Springs, The Rancho, and The Contemporary! Plus the 3 bedroom floorplan (living room in same place, dining room in upper left, kitchen to its right, two bedrooms on lower right, one on upper right, the garage abuts a bedroom).
And here’s the text with the model pictures:
GREATEST HOME VALUES. . . IN THE LOVELIEST SETTING. . . IN ALL CALIFORNIA TODAY
Formerly an Orchard Grove, beautiful shady full bearing fruit trees have been carefully preserved to “picture frame” each home site throughout “Orchard Park”
Shown on this page and on front cover are the sensational new Kaiser “California Ranch House” models, typical of which recently merited National Recognition in “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine.
With slanted ranch-type ceilings and heavy exposed beams, the Rancho 2 bedroom dwelling have the ingenious E-X-P-A-N-D-A-B-L-E features to meet the needs of a growing family.
Also shown are the new “1950” series of Kaiser 3 bedroom homes. All of these dwellings are now under construction in the attractive new unit of “Orchard Park.” All have inherent features of quality, durability, beauty and convenience, plus excellent location of “good address” to make them outstanding values.
See these homes. Note the rugged construction features and refinements of quality never before found at any house at anywhere near these new unit low introduction prices and terms.
SEE THE SENSATIONAL “STUDIO RANCHO” FURNISHED MODEL HOME
OPEN DAILY AND SUNDAYS
Prices less than $10,000… Terms as low as $59.50 per month
ESTABLISHED RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY OF OVER 700 ATTRACTIVE NEW HOMES
NEWHALL ST. AT BASCOM AVE.
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
Hurry! ACT at ONCE! TODAY!