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The Cliff May papers span 350 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to circa 1989. The collection is comprised of architectural drawings and sketches (originals and reprographic copies), clippings and scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, awards, financial records, legal files including for lawsuits, appointment books, one model, a bust, and ephemera. Papers document most of Cliff May's house designs and his marketing of his work, beginning in the 1930s in San Diego, and including his designs for haciendas, Monterey Revival, and California ranch houses for individual clients and for licensing by other builders and developers for medium and low cost ranch house developments in California, Texas, other places in the U.S., and even in other countries.
Born in San Diego, Cliff May (1908-1989) was a sixth-generation Californian. He studied business at San Diego State College from 1929-1931, but left without a diploma. After leaving San Diego State, May began building Monterey style furniture. Furniture building led to building his first house with help from developer Roy Lichty, his father-in-law. Before May moved to Los Angeles in 1936, he had built 35 houses over a 5 year period in San Diego.
350 Linear Feet (184 record storage, card boxes and flat boxes, and 55 flat file drawers)
Open for use by qualified researchers.