As I have lamented on this blog previously, one of the biggest regrets of my life was that I’ve gotten rid of so many things I wish I’d held on to.
The first of those things being the notebooks I’d amassed that were full of audio manufacturer literature from the 70s and 80s. I don’t actually recall at this point if I intentionally threw them out or if they were inadvertently left in a closet when fleeing an unfortunate roommate situation in 1989, but the fact remains at some point they disappeared.
The second of those things were the multiple notebooks of the floor plan/exterior elevation handouts I’d collected from Hallcraft Homes for the duration of my dad’s employment with the company. I believe I left them in Dad’s care when I first moved out of my folks’ house in the early 80s, with the intent of eventually getting them back at some point. Well, life happened and I’d all but forgotten about them (and the dozens of actual construction blueprints in our possession) until some time after he moved to the Bay Area and I inquired as to their whereabouts. “Oh, I threw all that stuff out after the divorce.”
Well fuck me.
My heart sank. Looking back on it now, I think his tenure at the firm (especially the last few years after they’d been bought out by a Canadian company) became increasingly difficult and when the opportunity presented itself for a purge of all physical reminders of his time there, he went for it—something totally out of character for my dad who seemed to hold onto every other thing in the world.
With the advent of the internet, I’d always fantasized what a great resource having all those handouts would be to current owners of the homes—if only for historical reference, and after his death I’d hoped against all odds that my sister would find a hidden cache in his things. Alas, no such cache was found.
Searching online for already published examples of those handouts has been a lesson in futility—until yesterday. With all the Phoenix history swirling through my brain of late, I did a search for “Hallcraft Showcase of Homes.” This led me to—of all places—the Sunburst Farms HOA page. Sunburst Farms was the first of several Hallcraft subdivisions with one- and two-acre lots. (Ben’s grandfather actually still owns a home in one of the east side developments.) On this HOA page there was a link to “Historic Documents” and on that page were links that sent my heart fluttering: Hallcraft Flyer 1, Hallcraft Home Plans 1, Hallcraft Home Plans 2, Home Elevations, Home Prices…
It wasn’t a treasure trove, but considering I’d previously only possessed three floor plans and an equal number of exterior elevation sheets, being able to add three more was like Christmas to me.
This morning, while I lay awake at 4 am again, another thought came to me: Craigslist! and I thought, “Fuck It! If I don’t put it out there, it will never happen.”
So now I have a “wanted” ad on the Phoenix Craigslist seeking these handouts; not to buy, but simply to scan or photograph in hopes of getting them all posted online. In the 1970s alone there were about 45 different single-family floor plans, and probably an equal number of townhouse/fourplex plans. The fact that someone kept a few—that I didn’t have—tells me that somewhere in Phoenix, in boxes at the back of closets and garages, my treasure may be lurking.
The images above are from yesterday’s discovery, and that particular plan was actually one of my favorites even though—god forbid as far as my mother was concerned—it didn’t have a separate dining room. That seems silly now, as I could easily see using the “family room” as a separate dining space since I could never understand the need for having a living room and a family room.