Eastward Ho - Page 4

New York’s trio of bonafide Eichlers—an anomaly with something magical going on

That devotion to preserving the Eichler look is shared by all three owners. But New York lacks the web of contractors and suppliers that make living the Eichler life relatively easy in California.

The Santos-Callahan family is in the midst of a five-year home restoration: Larry (center), Tim (right), and daughter Lola (left).
The Santos-Callahan family is in the midst of a five-year home restoration: Larry (center), Tim (right), and daughter Lola (left).
The Santos-Callahan homestead. Theirs has the only Eichler gable outside of California.
The Santos-Callahan homestead. Theirs has the only Eichler gable outside of California.
Tim Santos shows off his closet sliders.
Tim Santos shows off his closet sliders.
The Santos-Callahan original cooktop lives on.
The Santos-Callahan original cooktop lives on.

“Neighbors have banded together and help find [house] parts that are hard to find,” Dave says.

Larry learned a lot from Carl, who arrived in his Eichler five years earlier. “He says, ‘Yes, I tried that. Do this instead.’”

“We have to get creative,” Martina says. At times, her husband has scored standard plywood to resemble Eichler siding.

By all accounts, earlier owners appreciated the houses as much as the current owners. “I loved being in the house,” said Jerry Josephs, who moved out in 2010 after 27 years. No previous owners made grievous changes.

But some restoration was needed. Tim and Larry’s living room had a dropped ceiling, put in, they believe, to cut the heating bills. They could still see the ceiling beams because the roof was composed of glass sheets. But they decided the glass had to go.

“Then we took them down,” their daughter Lola says.

Larry says their design scheme aims for “a New York version of Palm Springs.”

Martina, Carl, and Vitus spent a year confined to their living room while Carl went to work on the house. “The house was really crying and hoping for someone,” Martina says.

“But nobody had renovated anything,” Carl adds, “so it was mostly original.”

Carl excavated the courtyard, rerouted piping, and designed a new layout for the kitchen—which they later learned precisely matched the original layout.

Martina spent weeks choosing the color palette, picking neutral tones to show off her paintings and Carl’s photographs, many of rock concerts. The drawing of the two lovebirds above the mantle symbolizes their marriage.

They painted the inside of their pool French grey to match their fireplace and their exterior, and to produce a shade of water that suggests a lake, not the “blue blue” of most pools, Carl says. He built the decking. Martina collected the pebbles that surround the pool, choosing each one individually.

Perhaps you can tell they hope to stay.

“We’re so attached to this area and this house and this lifestyle,” Carl says.

 

Photos: John Curtis, Carlheinz Bayer, Dave Weinstein; and courtesy Jerry and Robin Josephs