• keithhickman

The Tradition of Eichler Neighborhoods

Eichler began building what today are called the Eichler neighborhoods within a small community in Sunnyvale California. Originally priced for under ten thousand dollars, the homes were aimed at young families who were flocking to new landscapes called suburbia.

Today Eichlers are revered and the communities still have values and traditions which started thirty-five years ago or more. Two Eichler neighborhoods are on the National Register of Historic places. What makes these homes so compelling? Why are so many people so in love with them?

According to Monique Lombardelli, realtor and filmmaker of the documentary ‘People in glass houses: The legacy of Joseph Eichler’, the communities are thriving and the attraction and popularity of Eichler homes is again at a new peak. It’s an exciting time for us. In this documentary I wanted to show what the homes are, what their history was and how beautiful they are. It turned into a way to meet amazing people. The houses Joseph Eichler built were not the common ticky-tack track housing found in many other cities but offered stunning modern spaces on graceful curving streets to generations of families.

After the initial burst of postwar house building, affordability alone was no longer enough to satisfy an increasingly demanding marketplace. The new buyers were beginning to expect more in their home purchases, and they suggested builders were going to have to be creative.

Eichler improved his designs adding rooms and refining the plans to provide greater amenity and increased individuality while his architects continued to refine their distinctively minimalist aesthetic. One aspect of the Eichler neighbourhoods remained intact, namely the sense of community within.

To many Eichler home owners, the plain, simple design is like a blank canvas that invites artistic expression.

credit to: Mid-Century Home