Mar 27, 2011

A Living-Conditioned Home in Sacramento

Rendering for the Western Prize Home by Don Emmons, AIA. LIFE May 2, 1955

Living Conditioned

Best I can gather, the Living-Conditioned Homes program was put together as a collaboration between the magazine LIVING for Young Homemakers and either GE / Hotpoint or Westinghouse. Living-Conditioned was a manifesto by the magazine which embarked to design, equip and furnish homes that conditioned.

The ... "Living-Conditioned" home embodies the principles of Living-Conditioning, and summarizes the advantages of sound-conditioning -- the acoustical planning to reduce unwanted noise; of light-conditioning -- illumination for visual comfort and beauty, carefully studied to apply to the house the benefits of electrical progress; of safety-conditioning; of climate conditioning; of color-conditioning, a coordinated interior and exterior decoration plan which makes the home visually and psychologically more pleasing.

--From a 1957 sales brochure (courtesy sparklegem)

Sacramento Bee, Aug 1, 1953
Later on in the program, LIVING had the architectural firm of Palmer & Krisel AIA design perhaps LIVING's most notable group of these type homes in Northridge, California.

While the Northridge "Living Conditioned" homes were a complete tract development, early on the program attempted to have builders construct one of four commissioned plans (each regionally specific) in almost every state in the US. Around 1953, one of the plans designed by San Francisco architect Don Emmons (Frederick's brother) was built as a model home in the Meadowview area of Sacramento.


Touted as "The California Research Home", the home features "every room [opening] to a terrace, making indoor living inseparable from outdoor living". The plan even provided for integrated landscaping with "every bush, tree, shrub and flower provided for." Interiors "completely planned and executed by Bowman and Long"

Today, the home doesn't look too appealing sited on main thoroughfare in a sultry area of town. Enclosed by a chain link fence around the perimeter and a multi-story strip mall facade to the back, it feels like looking at an exquisite, exotic animal, caged. But perhaps with the "Living Conditioned" ethos, once inside, it still functions as it was designed. 

Special thanks to sparklegem & Perks of the Lottaliving forum for scans of the Northridge brochure & Joe Barthow for additional pointers.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Folks, My wife and bought a Donn Emmons house in Menlo Park which was featured in the magazine Living For Young Homemakers in May, 1955. We would love to get a copy of this. Do you have any ideas where we might be able to find one? My email is and my phone is 206-619-2107. Thanks much, Bill Bailey