DONALD J. SCHOLZ (1920-2000)
In 1946 Donald J. Scholz founded Scholz Homes in Toledo OH for the burgeoning demand created by the legions of returning GIs. Although not a formally trained architect or even an engineer, Scholz was influenced by Modernist architects like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. Although his company built many styles, his California Contemporary ranch homes are our focus here. These homes featured strong horizontal lines, but were offered in several facade styles to appeal to a broad array of tastes. Exteriors were sheathed in asbestos board siding, often brightly painted. Interiors were also painted in vibrant primary colors. Scholz even incorporated home decorating into the services he offered, and home buyers had the option to have the company decorate and furnish the house and provide it in move-in condition.
Although modest by today's standards, the California contemporary plans are spacious and open, with cathedral ceilings and ample windows. Each home has a patio in the back that is partially sheltered by the overhanging roof to further encourage outdoor activities. Kitchens are sleek and modern for the era, and Scholz offered high-end appliances from select manufactures as standard features.
Scholz utilized innovative prefabrication techniques to reduce the cost of his homes while maintaining a modicum of luxury. The wall panels were constructed at one of seven factories, delivered by semi to the home site and then erected by the company. Very little was wasted in the manufacturing process, further controlling costs. Many of Scholz's homes also featured red doors, said to signify good fortune in Asian cultures.
The Scholz factories were distributed throughout the United States in Long Beach, California; Long Island, New York; St. Petersburg, Florida; Durham, North Carolina; Kansas City, Kansas; Houston, Texas; and Toledo; Ohio. Scholz sold over 50,000 California contemporaries In 2000, Scholz was named one of the 20th century's most influential figures in the residential building industry by Builder magazine. His company was sold but continues to design (but not build) homes under the name Scholz Design.
Source: Adapted from Ramon Alvarez, a Scholz expert.
1953 - The Elden House, 101 Yacht Club Road, New Bern NC. Sold to Carmi and Alice Winters. Sold in 2016 to Steve Winters.
1955 - 3539 Hamstead Court, Durham. Deeded to Robert J. Lefkowitz. Sold in 1991 to Diane Lynn DiPietri and Daniel M. James. Sold in 2000 to Valeria D. and Richard E. Paddock. Sold in 2001 to Patience L. Vail and Marc-Andre Schoppe. Sold in 2013 to Kendra and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn.
1957 - 3550 Hamstead Court, Durham. Sold to Grace Eldridge and Richard Shield Llewellyn POA. Sold in 2002 to Sara Elise Hooper. Sold in 2005 to Beverly H. Brummett and Michael A. Babyak. Sold in 2013 to Tamara Yamaykin.
1957 - The Nicholas and Ruth Georgiade House, 2523 Wrightwood Avenue, Durham NC. Built by Jim Heiser. Still owners as of 2020!
1958 - 3101 Mountainbrook, Charlotte NC. Model Mark 58. Featured in June 1958 House Beautiful.
1959 - 204 Country Club Drive, New Bern NC. Sold in 1993 to George and Nedgelena Jennings who still owned it as of 2012.
1959 - The Donna and David Woodruff, 202 Hillcrest, New Bern NC. Addition on the rear. The house was remodeled after a 1994 fire. As of 2012 still owned by the Woodruffs.
1960 - The Sarah and Marion Bailey House, 4707 Trent River Drive, New Bern NC. Sold in 2015 to James L. Robinson Jr.
1963 - 128 Randstone Court, Charlotte. Sold to William and Holly Paul. Sold in 2001 to John Umberger and Rebecca Koon. Similar to 608 Robmont, below. Sold in 2016 to Susan and Stephen L. Hicks.
1964 - 608 Robmont, Charlotte. Built by Thomasson Builders. Sold to Shirley Ramsey. Transferred to Shirley and Blaine Ramsey. Deeded in 2005 to Shirley M. Ramsey. New thermal windows and a new roof in 2012. Sold in 2013 to Katherine L. and Derek E. Weidner.
1965 - The Edna Williams House, 4703 Trent River Drive, New Bern NC.Built by Robert H. (Bobby) Stephens. Sold in 1991 to his son Paul and Rebecca Stephens. The house was remodeled and the garage enclosed. Sold in 2001 to James and Janet Corcoran. Sold in 2003 to Stacey L. Swecker. Sold in 2011 to Chad and Kindelle McCullen.
1965 - The Charles and Josie Humphries House, 3835 Somerset Drive, Durham.Sold in 1981 to Mary Beth and John T. Scherer. Sold in 1989 to Kuo-Sun and Kuo-Sun Su Chang.
1966 - 2703 Montgomery Street, Durham NC. Sold in 2019.
1966 - 427 Country Club Circle, Lexington NC.Sold in 2018 to James G. Evans and Timothy A. Peacock.
Sources include: George and Nedgelena Jennings, Ramon Alvarez.