Newest Eichler Articles!

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Adriene
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Newest Eichler Articles!

Postby Adriene » Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:11 pm

Cara Greenberg has written an article about an Eichler renovation up in Marin County for the September/October 2002 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Decorating entitled "Living in a Glass House".

Another article that I can't help but be amused by is, "You Don't Deserve This Home, Joseph Eichler's Mass Market Conceit", Nathan Callahan's article currently running in the OC Weekly. I guess he's my favorite Eichler detractor to date because he sounds so unreasonably bitter!

And now, as a another Eichler homeowner said to me after reading the article, "Gotta go spin some Dean Martin platters and mix a highball: they're not just for breakfast anymore!"

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Futura Girl
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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Aug 28, 2002 12:25 pm

The article that has everyone hopig is online here:
http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/02/51/2002-callahan.php

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Eichlerholic response

Postby Futura Girl » Wed Aug 28, 2002 12:25 pm

FROM: Wally Fields, "Eichlerholic" Newark, California
URL: www.wallys.com

ONE PERSON'S STERILE IS ANOTHER PERSON'S ZEN

I'm writing about your article "You Don't Deserve This Home- Joseph Eichler's mass-market conceit" by Nathan Callahan, located at...
http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/02/51/2002-callahan.php

First, Nathan Callahan makes some very valid points. Apparently, Joe Eichler could have used some help in the diplomacy department. But his "conceit", however poorly hidden, was well deserved. He was a genius- as much for the architects he hired as for his business acumen. And the folks who worked for him stand by his memory to this day.

I can't argue much for how well or poorly the Eichlers were built, save for the fact that many of the owners I've met swear by the quality of their homes. And I'm not talking just the "Style-o-meter" obsessed "Beautiful People" who bought these homes when Eichlers came back in vogue in the 90s- and will doubtless sell them and buy Ranch Homes when modernism stops being the flavor of the day. I'm talking original owners, who've raised families in them. These owners aren't blind to the flaws of Eichlers -but feel such problems are worth the trouble for the Zen of a well-kept atrium.

As to the Eichler style... well, perhaps I'm biased. I spent the first three years of my life in such a home, my consciousness forming under the open beams. But isn't nostalgia the very factor that causes so many to accuse Eichlers of being 'sterile', as Callahan does... a pining for mythical 'simpler times', the dreaded 'white picket fence' of "Leave it to Beaver"?

Further, one person's sterile is another person's Zen... the Japanese Rice Paper houses are no less simple and elemental in design than Eichlers, and they are far from sterile.

Eichler tried to transcend a common syndrome of the 50s -all too endemic in the music, TV shows, and cars of the time- that tendency to 'telegraph' emotions through design. Typical tract home builders screamed warmth through such elements as window shutters and gingerbreading under the roofline. True Eichler fans eschew such obvious touches. Callahan implies pretension on the part of Eichler people- what could be more pretentious than a tract home that tries to look like a rural farmhouse?

Other modernists would disagree, but I'd say the "50's tail fin" Callahan speaks of evokes a more riveted, muscle-bound, Buck Rogers future than the Eichlers imply. I think a Jetson's air car would be more appropriate in an Eichler carport- something quiet, unobtrusive, gravity defying.

Eichlers will go back out of style one day... and back in. And the cycle will repeat. But some of us will always be taken by their charms.

Thanks for your time.

LB
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Postby LB » Wed Sep 11, 2002 8:24 pm

There is also an article about an Eichler remodel in, of all places, "This Old House" July-Aug issue.


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