Property Type: Residential
County: Ada  |  Building Status: Private  |  Year Built: 1961  |  Architectural Style: Midcentury Modern, Ranch
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In February of 1961, Clay and Margaret Simons purchased a lot from Title and Trust Company which had purchased dozens of lots from The Highlands Inc. in January. By April, the Simons had signed a mortgage with the Title Insurance Co. in the amount of $24,000. Though the architect of the Simons House remains unknown, the style of the house is readily identifiable as a ubiquitous western Ranch.

In the 1930s, Californian architects introduced the ?close to the ground? ranch, finding inspiration in the one-story plan of the Spanish rancho of the Southwest which they adapted to a suburban house type suitable for middle income families. It combined elements of vernacular houses with the Craftsman Bungalow and typically featured a low-pitched roof with deep eaves and a low horizontal profile. By the late 1940s, this new house type, perceived as modern and unpretentious, caught on across the country. This particular example received an American Colonial treatment complete with a fieldstone veneer accented with wide profile siding, multi-pane wood windows with decorative shutters, and a paneled door. A two-story addition to the northeast end of the house slightly alters the original low massing, but a rear addition completed in 2012 provides additional interior space while remaining sympathetic to the original exterior details.

Clay Simons was born in Pennsylvania in 1928 but the family moved to San Bernardino, California during his high school years. After graduation from San Bernardino High School, Simons attended San Bernardino Valley College before serving two years in the US Navy. Having married Margaret (Margo) in 1950, the couple raised three children. Simons graduated law school and practiced briefly but preferred his work at Davidson-Western Plywood Company where he eventually became a top salesman. In 1960, the company opened a Boise office and offered the manager position to Simons. He eventually opened his own plywood business. Simons died in Boise in 2005.

By 1966, the house had been sold to Gordon and Francis Randall who occupied it for twenty years. Randall, an executive with Boise Cascade, oversaw the design of their new corporate offices by the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.

This home was on the 11th Annual Heritage Home Tour in 2013, thanks to the generosity of the current homeowners Chris and Emily Allen.