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Archways three feet deep imitate thick adobe walls, add romance and allow for deep closets on either side. An arched alcove in the living room still serves as a phone “booth.” Douglas fir beams and lintels throughout the house (only the kitchen has a flat ceiling) have been sandblasted to remove multiple coats of paint, and then lightly stained.


The unevenness of the Mexican red-tile floor is due to the lack of a concrete slab. Instead, May experimented with a clay tile slab; he was one of the first builders to use slab on grade. He also designed a terracotta-tiled bathroom (accessible from two bedrooms) with innovations, such as a Pullman-style (built-in) sink, at a time while most other builders still used pedestal sinks.


Wilburn F. Hale was the chief carpenter and May worked alongside him to learn the skills of the trade. Being May’s first building, this house represents the germination of ideas that he would carry forward and refine for the rest of his career.


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