By Don McAlavy
Clovis’ big, expensive homes are an indicator of the growth of the city, most of which has been to the north and east after World War II.
In the early days of Clovis, the big homes were primarily built on Gidding Street, from the 300 block to East Seventh Street. Maybe that’s the reason this residential street was the first street to be paved.
As Clovis grew north, the ideal street was again Gidding, and in the 1400 block of that street could be found the big homes.
When my family moved from the country to town in 1944 and kinfolks came visiting, we’d drive them up to the 1400 block of Gidding and show them where the rich people lived. A lot of these homes were built in the 1920s and ’30s. They are still beautiful homes today.
In the early 1950s, the big home sites were built on East 21st Street all the way to Norris. The home sites were built on large lots. Later, big homes were built on the streets south of East 21st and on toward 14th Street.
On Belair Road off West 21st, a few big homes were built. Ken and Gloria White built their home at the end of Belair in a cul-de-sac in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Then came Colonial Park on north Prince, way out of town with development starting in the early 1960s. This huge undertaking was by Dr. I. D. Johnson and Cotton Simms. The big homes had a golf course to build around. It still remains the largest big homes site in Clovis. Diamond Head Drive and then St. Andrews Drive became noted for big, expensive homes. Colonial Park continues to build to the north.
Bob and Jody Johnson developed Remuda Drive east across Norris from Sandzen and there are several big homes; one is a huge adobe home built by Sam and Julie Snell.
Around 1990, the Sandzen addition on North Norris was started on land once owned by Harry Barton. David Petty of Triangle Ace Home Center started the building of what is almost a gated community. Sandzen has medium to large homes, with no two alike.
About 10 years ago, another big home addition was built, called the North Park Village off of East Llano Estacado. The developer was Armand Smith.
Further east on Llano Estacado across North Norris is a new big home addition currently being built called San Vicente Estates. It’s being developed by Dick and Zala Smith.
Foxwood Estates began in 1996 with Foxwood Development, owned by John Bourne, Bob and Chad Lydick. These homes are south and east of Central Baptist Church, another big homes project. Some of the homes are in the 6,000-square-foot class. Some are owned by dairy operators and many are owned by Cannon Air Force Base personnel. Not many lots are left in this addition.
Now Foxwood Development is developing Raintree in the 3900 block of North Norris. Raintree and San Vicente Estates are the first additions to have fiberoptic cable in each home. Again, some of these homes are in the 6,000-square-foot class.
Some lots for these modern mansions sell in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $30,000; the homes will probably average out at $100 per square foot.
Several big homes still exist from the old days in downtown Clovis, one being the beautiful Dunn home at 920 Main, now the law offices of Michael Garrett.
Another home downtown is the Sid Boykin home at 400 Sheldon. It sits on two lots, is of wood construction, and was built in 1915. It was pictured in the historical “Houses In Time” book in 1997 as one of the unique homes in New Mexico.