Two-car garages were all the rage when J.W. Mashburn began building homes in 1960, his Olympic hopes sidelined by injury a few years earlier.
Mashburn earned a gold medal in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the 1,600-meter relay and led Capitol Hill High School to state championships before that, but a torn Achilles tendon brought the swift-footed Mashburn to a dead halt.
During the long and tedious recovery, he began selling real estate. By the time his Olympic teammates flew to Rome in summer 1960, Mashburn had already embarked on a whole new career building homes.
“Back then about everything we did was a two-car garage,” he recalled. “Then the three-car came along and there were a certain percentage of people out there who wanted a three-car garage. Surprisingly enough, though, there are a pretty good percentage of people today that build two-car.”
About 60 percent of the homes in Mashburn's Cascata Lakes have two-car garages, estimated his son Jesse Mashburn, a builder. “That was the target range anyway,” he said.
On the south side, homes in The Gates at Legacy are loaded with features, as Tony McGrew, sales manager, points out: maple cabinets in the kitchen with granite countertops, open floor plans that can be tweaked to a buyer's needs, enormous amounts of storage and all in a neighborhood secured behind two gates.
In some of the homes, though, what may be the best feature isn't even in plain sight. But for anyone who has held their breath as they hauled Christmas decorations down a rickety ladder from their attic, the simple set of stairs behind a simple door represents a leap huge forward — or maybe upward.
“Instead of the old pull-down ladder, you actually have a set of stairs,” McGrew said as he pulled open a door. “They're fixed, so you can just walk up to the attic.”
Mashburn Homes is carving The Gates out as a 35-home enclave of The Legacy near SW 134 and S May Avenue with homes starting around $210,000. It's a quiet area of south Oklahoma City that still offers some tranquility even with the busiest parts of the metro area, Moore and Norman, just a short drive away. A lot of things are a short drive away.