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1949 - 1974: Eichler Houses

A Modernist Approach to the Ranch Style Home


Real estate developer Joseph Eichler brought a fresh, new modernist approach to affordable tract housing.
The Foster Residence, an Eichler House in Los Angeles, California

The Foster Residence, an Eichler House in Los Angeles, California

Photo by Wikimedia Member Los Angeles, Creative Commons license 3.0
Eichler House is a term used to describe homes constructed by California real estate developer Joseph Eichler. Between the 1949 and 1974, Joseph Eichler's company, Eichler Homes, constructed about 11,000 houses in California and three houses in New York state.

An Eichler House is essentially a one-story Ranch, but Eichler's company reinvented the style, creating a revolutionary new approach to suburban tract housing. Many other builders across the United States imitated the design ideas that Joseph Eichler pioneered.

Common features of Eichler Homes:

  • Post-and-beam construction
  • Concrete slab foundation
  • Long front facade with attached carport
  • An open-air courtyard at the entrance
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Radiant heat in the floors
  • Exposed ceiling beams

Architects for Eichler Homes:

  • Robert Anshen of Anshen & Allen
  • A. Quincy Jones of Jones & Emmons
  • Claude Oakland
  • Pietro Belluschi

Where to Find Eichler Houses:

Although not comprehensive, this list suggests some of the best places to look for Eichler homes and buildings.
  • Castro Valley, California, Greenridge Road
  • Conejo Valley, California, Thousand Oaks
  • Concord, California
  • Cupertino, California, Fairgrove Tract
  • Granada Hills, California
  • Marin County, California, Lucas Valley and Marinwood
  • Mountain View, California, Monta Loma Neighborhood
  • Orange, California, Fairhaven
  • Palo Alto, California, Greenmeadow Aquatic Facility and many homes midtown and south Palo Alto
  • Redwood City, California, Atherwood
  • Sacramento, California, South Land Park and South Land Park Hills
  • San Fernando Valley, California, Balboa Highlands neighborhood and Granada Hills
  • San Francisco, California and San Francisco Bay area, Millbrae, Foster City, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, Western Addition, Hunters Point-Bayview districts, Russian Hill, and Diamond Heights
  • San Jose, California, Fairglen Tract in Willow Glen
  • San Mateo County, California, San Mateo Highlands
  • San Rafael, California, the Terra Linda section
  • Santa Clara, Pomeroy Green and Pomeroy West
  • Thousand Oaks, California
  • Walnut Creek, California, Rancho San Miguel
  • Chestnut Ridge, New York

In Palm Springs, California, the Alexander Construction Company also pioneered modernist approaches to suburban housing, building thousands of open, sophisticated Alexander Homes.

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