Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orange County Eichlers

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Fairhills Eichler Plan OJ-1605 by A. Quincy Jones & Frederick Emmons (1964). Photo ©Darren Bradley
"Eichler" has become a household word these days, used to describe just about any modernist tract house. Sort of the way "Eames" is used on eBay as a catch-all for any object remotely modern that looks like it may have been made sometime in the 50s or 60s. But actually, there are very few Eichler developments in Southern California. That was more of a Northern California thing, and there are many tracts around the Bay Area. In SoCal, there are only four: three in Orange County and one  two in the Valley. 


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Fairhaven Eichler by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons. Photo ©Darren Bradley
I won't go into a detailed history of Joe Eichler or his homes. There are plenty of books and websites like this one and this one that can tell you all you want to know. I'll just point out that Joe Eichler was the developer, but that the homes were actually designed by three different teams of architects: Anshen & Allen, Jones & Emmons, and Claude Oakland. For some reason, many people think Eichler designed them himself. 


Fairhaven Eichler
Fairhills Eichler plan OJ-04 by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons (1962) Only two homes in built with this plan, which was used to accommodate shallow lots in the tract. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Instead, this is really just about sharing some photos that I took a few years ago while doing a quick drive-by of a couple of the Orange County neighborhoods. 


Fairhaven Eichler
Fairhills Eichler plan OJ-1184 by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons (1962). Photo ©Darren Bradley

I just found a some photos in my archives and thought I'd share. 


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Fairhaven Eichler by Bob Anshen & Steve Allen. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Although to me, at least, the front elevations of these houses are far less interesting than the interiors or the rear, with all its glass walled goodness, I think they are still striking and it's still easy to see what was [and remains] so special about these homes.

Fairhaven Eichler
Fairhills Eichler. Not sure which model this is, or who designed it. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Fairmeadows Eichler
Fairmeadows Eichler plan LA-114 by Bob Anshen & Steve Allen. Photo ©Darren Bradley
For the most part, the homes are beautifully restored and maintained in these neighborhoods. The owners clearly know what they have and appreciate them. 

Eicher Fairmeadows Development
Fairmeadows Eichler plan LA-24 by Bob Anshen & Steve Allen (1962). Photo ©Darren Bradley 

However, there are a few owners who just don't seem to get it, and have committed frightening acts to their homes...


Criminal Act
I wonder if it would be possible to bring this one back and restore it? Photo ©Darren Bradley

3 comments:

Dolores Barrett said...

Great blog on the Socal Eichlers, Darren. By "valley", do you mean the Eichler homes in Thousand Oaks?

Kimberly D said...

The Eichlers in the San Fernando Valley (Granada Hills, CA 91344) are called Balboa Highlands. There are about 100 homes in this tract and it recently became an HPOZ (Historic Preservation Overlay Zone) so they are now protected.

Kimberly D said...

Dolores is correct. There is another Eichler Tract in So Cal. It is in Thousand Oaks (Just North of the 101 via the Lynn Rd. exit).