Historic houses open their doors - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Historic houses open their doors

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Barbara Roper and Norm Applebaum play and live in a classic piece of San Diego history -- their hacienda-style home designed by Cliff May.

"We only have a 50-foot frontage. The house looks very small and so they're surprised when they walk in that there's an L-shaped house with quite a bit of room," Barbara said.

Cliff May homes are distinctive.

"He always had a courtyard, a private courtyard and so that you could live outside as well as inside," Barbara said.

The old house features five fireplaces and has held up well.

"This is the original stucco on this house. It's called a mission finish," Barbara said.

Barbara doesn't mind opening her home up to others.

"I've had many concerts and tours and open houses and fundraisers, because I like to share it," she said.

Bruce Coons owns a cozy Cliff May home in Point Loma.

"This was house number four and his first consignment home. The others were built on speculation," he said.

His house was completed in 1933.

"One of the things that was an innovation at the time was moving the garage up to the front to create the courtyard. That caught on and eventually became the American ranch house. Cliff May is known as the father of the American ranch house," Bruce said. "We love this house, it's really the quintessential California and San Diego house."

This coming Sunday, you can tour Bruce Coons' home, as well as Barbara Roper's and other Cliff May houses at a fundraiser for Soho San Diego.

"They are going to see five of the first six houses that he built," Barbara said.

It's a rare chance to glimpse an intimate look at early San Diego history and to support the importance of our city's preservation.

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