LOS ALTOS — The Los Altos History Museum sits smack in the middle of a red-hot Silicon Valley neighborhood. The median sale price of a single family home in ZIP code 94022 is $3,525,000.
How ironic, then, that the museum’s latest exhibition focuses on a time when Santa Clara Valley land could be had for a relative pittance and a developer with a vision could build thousands of affordable, custom-designed homes. We are talking about Joseph Eichler, whose open and airy, light-filled houses sold half a century ago for around $40,000 and are the subject of “Eichler Homes: Modernism for the Masses,” which runs through Oct. 8.
Now I wish I had bought an Eichler…
I remember when PA eichlers were $500k and being torn down in the 80s…Too bad they didnt knock em all down…They are now “historic”…nostalgia is hilarious. …a quaint 19th century concept about a 20th century joke of a house…Eichler must be laughing in his little piece of hell…He was the father of product liability litigation for houses beacuse his houses were so poorly built. .Cheap was his only mantra…Cheap flat roofs, cheap slabs with no reinforcing and no soils preperation, cheap 1/8" plywood walls, no insulation, cheap single pane aluminum windows…radiant heat that has failed on almost all his houses…
Why do people like them?
The looks or just because of the name?
They tend to be open-concept so that is nice. Otherwise, they are dumps so I don’t know maybe the name.
They like the windows and open floor plans…Some like the mid century hip look…They look good from far but are far from good…Live in one and report back…Very cold and drafty in the winter…And despite all the glaas the originals are very dark…lots of dark wood. .Most have been updated with sheetrock, new kitchens and baths…The original kitchens had sliding cabinet doors…total useless…Most heating systems have, many roofs have been redone with spray foam to provide some slope…Many windows have been replaced with modern dual pane…
Even though I can appreciate the open plan, I bet it has more to do with the location than anything else. I just read that Eichlers actually sell for less than traditional houses in other locations where there is more variety of housing stock.
I wonder if the modern style will end up like Eichlers. Everything newer has the modular prefab look, 1-car garage, and 3 stories high so they can give you enough sq ft on a smaller lot.
Eichlers always sold at at a discount…I figure Mad Men did to Eichlers what Sideways did to pinot noir wine…Hyped up Eichlers and anything else mid century. .Nostalgia sells, look at the ridiculous prices people pay for 60s muscle cars…But still they are the same unsafe overpowered gas guzzling junk they were in the 70s, when you couldn’t give them away…
Problem is nostalgia is finicky. …There will be another movie, another trend and Eichlers will be put back where they belong…in the dustbin of history