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and up a few stone steps, we catch glimpses of the tile-roofed, four- bedroom hacienda. It gently embraces a large patio bordered by a free- standing garden wall with gurgling fountain.


Unlike May’s earlier haciendas, this U-shaped home has two splayed wings, with the ends reserved for bedrooms and an attached garage. This design maximizes the courtyard space and is characteristic of May’s approach to larger lots; he used variations of this concept throughout his career. The house is too large and too complex to be seen or understood from any one angle. Instead, we’re encouraged to ramble along with it, across square Mexican tile pavers or wood flooring.


On the patio side, the house was originally buffered by a roofed corredor, now enclosed. The large, multilight windows installed during that renovation are compatible with but different from the house’s largest original windows, which frame 16 glass panels and almost run floor to ceiling. Both window designs emphasize horizontality and pierce the house’s white stucco walls, flooding the interior with sunlight. Windows, some of them framed by May’s characteristically rustic wooden shutters, alternate with many glass doors, which offer outdoor access to most of the rooms.


Ornate, wrought-iron lanterns flank the pair of doors the current owner uses as the primary entrance (and painted a dark terracotta color to distinguish them from all the others). Across the corredor, in the area that was the breezeway, the hacienda’s original front door now opens onto a newly designed spa and barbeque area. This double door exhibits a wonderful design that May favored, though this is the only example on this tour. It was a feature on his third (lost home) and on many of his other early San Diego homes. When its twin solid panels are open, an exterior wood door with an open worked, wide chevron- patterned grille casts long, exotic shadows.


The interior architecture, like all the homes on SOHO’s tour, contrasts smooth, soft archways between rooms with the strong, linear patterns


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