Pan-Pacific House by Richard Lareau

Architect Richard Lareau's Pan-Pacific House, in Del Cerro, was deemed "...a somewhat unusual concept of outdoor-indoor living" by The San Diego Union

By Keith York

According to architect Dick Lareau, "I designed this ‘idea house’ on spec in collaboration with building contractor T. A. Bignell. ‘The Pan-Pacific House', included in the annual ‘Parade of Homes’ event in 1958, brought attention to contractors, builders and material suppliers. These new homes were celebrated with open-house tours and publicity featuring new appliances, as well as new design ideas and materials. Because of the guaranteed publicity, a lot of the materials were donated by suppliers. Following the ‘parade’ Tom Bignell sold the house.”

The $35,000 home secured Lareau’s award for ‘excellence of design and use of masonry construction’ by the United Masonry Association of San Diego, Inc. in November, 1958.

The Masonry Association award came after San Diego County observed the 10th annual National Home Week (September 6-14, 1958). This event, was at the time, according to the Evening Tribune was the “largest display of subdivision and custom homes ever presented here.”

During the Week, 24 builders held open houses throughout the County. The San Diego Building Contractors Association, alongside the National Association of Home Builders sponsored the activities which included the ‘Parade of Homes’ and the selection of a local ‘homemaker’ to represent San Diego at the ‘Women’s Conference on Housing’ in Washington, DC. To win the latter, any woman over the age of 18 could submit an essay on the theme of ‘What I Want In My New Home’.

Not only was the Pan Pacific House a Parade of Homes entry but it was among four homes qualified for designation as ‘Medallion Homes’ because of their ‘advanced electrical facilities.’ San Diego Gas & Electric, along with national electrical industry sponsors, presented the Medallion program, which was supervised by Arthur Ellis. Ellis’ program carried the themes of ‘Light for Living’ and ‘Full Housepower’ through the Pan-Pacific House as well as the Better Homes & Gardens Idea Home built by Severin Construction Co. at 5600 Severin Drive in La Mesa and a home in Del Cerro built by E.C. Roessler.

The Pan-Pacific House was deemed ‘a somewhat unusual concept of outdoor-indoor living’ by The San Diego Union as decks and landscaping by (landscape architect) Roy Seifert blend seamlessly with interior spaces and from every angle of the home.

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