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Architect Cliff May has long been acknowledged as a pioneer of the California Rancher genre; his earlier mastery of Spanish Revival design is less widely known.  San Diego’s Roper residence, completed in 1933, was the second home designed by May.  It provides a showcase of the architect’s prodigal talents, as well as those of his contractor, the delightfully named O. U. Miracle.  Like many courtyard homes, its introspective facade gives little clue to the dramatic floor plan within:  the massive front door and garage doors appear impenetrable, and the sole window facing the street hides behind a wooden grille. The latter detail, borrowed from vernacular Spanish Colonial design, eventually became a May trademark.