Coxhead & Coxhead, FAIA. The Bixby Ranch House, 1890. Beginning with the front door with its massive, sinewy brass handle and voluptuous latch, the exceptional character of the Bixby Ranch House is indisputable. This is, after all, one of the most famous houses in Long Beach. Built in 1890 for George H. Bixby, among the City's most prominent native sons, it was the ten-acre family seat of the huge Bixby ranch and real estate operations. Here various farm buildings stood side by side with formallandscaped gardens, a beautiful outdoor brick pergola, and long Classical reflecting pools. The property was eventually subdivided and this private community of homes is now gated, anchored by the Bixby estate at center stage. Designated in 1988 as a Long Beach Historic Landmark, the 8-bedroom, 7-bath mansion was designed by the English-born, San Francisco-based architect-brothers, Coxhead and Coxhead. With its rich, warm skin of cedar shingles, the Bixby Ranch House is an example of the ''Shingle'' style of architecture. This very American genre eschewed Victoriana's verticality and ornate pastels. Instead, similar to Craftsman ideals, Shingle architecture emphasized simplicity and ''honest'' materials such as stone, wood, and brick. First offering in 25 years.
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