New 'Eichler' = Lots of Buzz

First new Eicher home since the '70s to be unveiled February 18 for Palm Springs tour
New Eichler
New Eichler
Troy Kudlac of KUD Development.
New Eichler
KUD Development's Eichler atrium coming together. Photo: KUD Development.

The buzz has been building for weeks about the opening to the public of the first new 'Eichler home' built since the mid-1970s, and the first ever built in Palm Springs.

Builder Troy Kudlac of KUD Development says tickets have been going fast for the upcoming 'Desert Eichler' tour and accompanying events.

Kudlac, who used original Eichler plans to build the home, was finishing up the landscaping, and an exterior wall or two, two weeks before the Wednesday February 18 'Eichler Day' at Palm Springs Modernism Week. He expects the events to sell out.

Kudlac says there have been no recent snags and the four-bedroom home will look great for the occasion, fully furnished with mid-century modern items, its walls adorned with paintings and photographs from local artists. For the tour, the environment will be enhanced by a DJ cranking out tunes, a full bar mixing such retro drinks as Manhattans and an Old Fashioned or two, and with guests dressing in retro fashion.

"It's been a good learning experience," he says of the 'Desert Eichler' project, which he built from the ground up using original plans for the Claude Oakland model. He is seeking approval to build a few more Eichlers in town.

"I'm excited there are Eichlers in Palm Springs," the local builder says. The home has been modified to meet modern demands and codes and the rigors of the desert.

Besides tours of the house, 'Eichler Day' features a panel discussion about the project, and about Eichler homes in general, featuring Kudlac, film producer Monique Lombardelli, and Paul Adamson, author of the book 'Eicher: Modernism rebuilds the American Dream.' Lombardelli will show her film about Eichler homes, 'People in Glass Houses.'

There will also be a cocktail party at the house, "a 'Mad Men' mixer, " Kudlac says.

There's lots else to do during Palm Springs Modernism Week besides celebrating Eichlers, and Kudlac plans to take advantage of it.

Besides showing off another modern home he built as part of the Indian Wells home tour, he plans to attend some of the lectures. One is a look at Hawaiian Modern. "I'm real interested in that," he says.

He's also looking forward to a talk on the late desert architect Walter S. White. "Walter White did some wonderful houses," Kudlac says. "He was very creative with low-eave rooflines."

For more on 'Eichler Day,' click here.