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It's the tenth anniversary for the two Eichler neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places—but no others have joined them
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To help draw support for their two National Register nominations, Historic Quest staged a two-day 'Celebrate Eichlers' event in Palo Alto in 2002. It included the Eichler exhibit above.
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National Register historian Paul Lusignan.

Three Eichler neighborhoods in the city of Orange are moving toward such recognition, however, in an effort spearheaded by real estate broker Kelly Laule. She says drafts of the nominating papers are almost ready to file, and she hopes to complete the process by the end of the year.

And in the San Mateo Highlands, a National Register nomination for a single Eichler home, the all-steel X-100, will be submitted to the NPS within months.

Laule's group hired an architectural and preservation firm to prepare their nomination.

"I think it is so inspiring to have the neighborhoods on the Register," Laule says. "It makes [each of the neighborhoods] that much more special. I feel like it's my contribution to protecting them and giving them the protection they deserve."

Once on the Register, Laule says, neighbors will be able to save on property taxes through the state Mills Act, which can reduce taxes for buildings in a historic district if the savings are used for preservation and rehabilitation.

Still, the question remains—why haven't more Eichler fans and residents, or people in other mid-century modern neighborhoods, sought National Register recognition, since so many of their neighborhoods have turned 50 years old, usually the requisite age for such designation?

And another question comes to mind: Are more applications on the way?

Jack Hamilton, a former longtime resident of Greenmeadow, who served several times on its homeowner association board, has one answer.

"I think that the spirit in the community was positive about those efforts," he recalls of Historic Quest, in which he did not take part. "But it was a little bit like, what does it really change? I don't think the neighbors thought it would make any difference in the way the neighborhood functioned. It would be an accolade if it came to pass, but it would not make any big change."

Being on the National Register does not, in itself, impose any restrictions on a homeowner's ability to remodel or tear down a house. Restrictions of that sort come from local planning ordinances, or from homeowner association regulations.

But being on the National Register brings to public attention that a building or area is of national importance, and such recognition can be brought to bear on local decision-makers.

"Being listed on the National Register does not give a neighborhood any useful protection against teardowns and radical alterations," says Barry Brisco, a co-chair of Historic Quest who lives in an Eichler in San Mateo. "So I think most people look at the work involved compared to the benefits gained and see no point in making the effort."