Monday, May 9, 2016

Helf Built Homes in Sheffield Lake – May 1955

Sometimes it seems like I’m trying to document all of the 1950s housing developments in Sheffield Lake on this blog.

I’ve already done posts on Knickerbocker Knolls, Lake Breeze Estates, and the House of Harmony All-Gas Home on Lake Breeze. Well, here’s another one: Helf-Built Split Level Homes.

The above full-page ad ran in the Lorain Journal on May 6, 1955.

According to the ad, split level homes were “the most talked about design in America” at that time.

And Marvin Helf, the builder, really pulled out all the stops to attract attention to his Grand Opening. Here are some of the gimmicks: an appearance by WHK DJ Bill Gordon, performances by the Three Suns, a helicopter, free souvenirs, “cartoon movies" and balloons to entertain the kids, and a Magic Chef Gas Range given free with every home purchased on or before May 15th.

So where are these Helf homes located? On West Drive (although West Drive does not extend to Lake Road like it does on the map).The homes back up to Warwick Drive and are likely in this aerial view showing houses built in that time period.

A drive through the area today reveals an attractive neighborhood made up of a variety of well-maintained split level homes. (Photos courtesy of the Lorain County Auditor’s website.)
The neighborhood is kind of a throwback, a pleasant reminder of the days before housing developments engraved their names on fancy signs and erected imposing entrance gates to keep out the riffraff.

1 comment:

Gary Smith said...

Used to live on West Drive in Sheffield Lake. Moved to Lorain in 1967.