In 1955 Ralph and Goldy Lewis began their careers as home builders. They worked to build quality homes at affordable prices. The Lewises believed that every home reflected the integrity of the builder. With this in mind the Lewises dedicated themselves to building homes with the finest quality materials and workmanship. “Built with Integrity” became the Lewis Homes slogan. Ralph and Goldy’s virtue was, however, not limited to their business. Ralph and Goldy built with integrity: their business, their family and the communities that brought them prosperity.
The Lewis sons, Richard, Robert, Roger, and Randall, were brought up in the family business. They learned every aspect of home building by participation, much as Ralph and Goldy themselves did. In addition to learning quality building practices from Ralph and Goldy, the Lewis sons also saw the rewards that their parents personal beliefs brought them. Two early awards included the Westinghouse “First in Industry” award and the Southern California Plastering Institute’s “Golden Trowel” award. Ralph and Goldy received these and many other awards for excellence, quality and integrity in building. The Lewis sons would also learn through their parents’ example to be active and charitable in their communities.
Ralph and Goldy’s success only strengthened their integrity. The Lewises believed in being active in the communities in which they built homes. Even in the early years, Ralph and Goldy proved themselves to be philanthropists. In Claremont, where they built their first development, Ralph and Goldy made a donation to the Condit school to ensure the safe passage of neighborhood children. When the city of Claremont needed a parcel, the Lewises sold them the land, asking only what they had paid four years before. That land eventually became Lewis Park. These small offerings would mark the beginning of Ralph and Goldy’s lifetime of generosity.
More recent developments such as Cypress Park, a residential community for older homeowners, and Terra Vista, a planned community, exemplify Ralph and Goldy’s desire to serve the larger community with integrity.
The Cypress Park development was built with the senior homeowner in mind. Larger doors and adjustable counter tops were just a few of the amenities Lewis Homes introduced to accommodate owners with physical difficulties. Cypress Park allows its residents to remain independent and to maintain their own integrity. Developments like Cypress Park demonstrate the Lewis’ desire to reach out to every segment of the community.
At Terra Vista, the Lewises realized their first planned community. Homes, apartments, low rent housing, business parks and shopping centers made Terra Vista accessible and convenient for a variety of residents. The Lewises would not sit back and believe that building affordable housing or providing the comforts of a planned community relieved them of their responsibilities at Terra Vista. Ralph and Goldy, and the Lewis sons, feel a responsibility to “assist the local citizenry in community betterment.” To this end Lewis Homes has run the gamut of community involvement. The Lewises have remained actively involved with the community. Lewis companies has donated space at Terra Vista for the Rancho Cucamonga Performing Arts Center. The Lewises have, additionally, sponsored a 10K race with proceeds going to nearby Chaffey College.
The Lewises have three rules for success in business:
Ralph and Goldy have a personal rule for success in life: maintain your personal integrity in everything and be generous with others.
In 1989 Ralph and Goldy decided to make donations to both UCLA and USC, $5 million to each school. Ralph and Goldy both hold accounting degrees from UCLA. Their relationship with USC, and their generous donation here is special to Ralph and Goldy. Ralph attended graduate courses at USC, and eventually taught USC courses himself. Ralph and Goldy have, furthermore, enjoyed an exceptionally close relationship with the School of Policy, Planning and Development. In the mid-1980s Ralph became a member of the Board of Counselors of what was then called the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Ralph also played an active role in the development of academic programs such as the Bachelor’s degree in Planning and Development and the Master’s degree in Real Estate Development. Ralph and Goldy’s constant involvement with USC and their generous natures have resulted in the building that houses this gallery, Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall.
Ralph and Goldy’s dedication to bettering the lives of others is a testament to their belief that generosity is less of an obligation than a joy. Ralph and Goldy have been committed to bettering people’s lives, not only the home buying public, but also the larger communities in which they have lived and worked. Their dedication to each other, their family, their business and their community is something rarely seen. When Ralph and Goldy Lewis declared their homes to be “Built with Integrity” they were also speaking about themselves.