Eichler Article in San Francisco Chronicle

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Adriene
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Eichler Article in San Francisco Chronicle

Postby Adriene » Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:00 pm

Sunday, October 27, 2002 (SF Chronicle)
There's just something about an Eichler ...
Richard Paoli

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... E21885.DTL

Appropriately, Palo Alto will host next weekend's two-day, 50th
anniversary celebration of the distinctively designed Eichler homes.
This is going to be a lovefest for owners of the more than 10,000 Eichler
homes scattered across the Bay Area. The Palo Alto site is appropriate by
sheer weight of numbers -- 3,000 of the single-story houses with flat
roofs and floor-to-ceiling windows were built there.
Eichler home owners are a proud and, yes, sensitive lot. Their definition
of what makes an Eichler is a long, specific list. For most of us who
don't have the good fortune to posses an Eichler, only one definition is
necessary:
If Joseph Eichler didn't build it, it's not an Eichler.
Eichler, a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's residential design, started
building homes in the early 1950s. For nearly a dozen years, Eichler
subdivisions popped up around the Bay Area, dotting the landscape with a
very West Coast style, different from the usual stucco-sheathed suburban
homes. Wood, glass, radiant heating, open floor plans and a compressed
horizontal design were some of the Eichler trademarks.
His company built 1,500 in San Mateo and 3,000 in Palo Alto. Another 2,500
were built in South Bay communities. Eichler, who died in 1974, also built
2, 000 homes in San Rafael and another 1,000 in the East Bay.
Another 600 Eichlers were built in Southern California.
Eichler and the homes his company built continue to gather recognition,
even 50 years after he started. The California Council of the American
Institute of Architects gave an award to the Eichler company for "having
touched people's lives with excellent design, setting a precedent that
housing needn't be traditional or boring."
The Palo Alto celebration will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the city's Cubberly Community Center
Auditorium, 4000 Middleford Rd.
The auditorium will be filled with dozens of booths manned by companies
specializing in services for Eichler homes. A high point of the program
will be a presentation by Historic Quest, the nonprofit Eichler volunteer
group that is producing the two-day event. The group is seeking approval
to place some Eichler homes on the National Register of Historic Places.

E-mail Richard Paoli at rpaoli@sfchronicle.com.
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Copyright 2002 SF Chronicle

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