X-100 Time Capsule Arrives!

Restoration complete, the X-100 added to May 6-7 San Mateo Highlands Home Tour
Fridays on the Homefront
A late-arriving time capsule named the X-100 (above) just landed, set to appear
in next week's 2017 San Mateo Highlands Eichler Home Tour. Sounds like a match made in mid-century modern heaven. Coming next weekend May 6 & 7. Above: Inside the X-100 kitchen, 1956. Photo: Ernie Braun
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Vintage shot of X-100's all-purpose room leading to the master bedroom. Photo: Ernie Braun
Fridays on the Homefront
X-100's new side gates carry on the familiar circular motif found
on its interior floors, backyard deck, and swimming pool configuration. Courtesy Vallier Design Associates

The Eichler X-100 of the San Mateo Highlands just got a facelift and is looking 50 years younger.

Surprise! The X-100 is now ready to open its doors—announced as a late addition to the 2017 San Mateo Highlands Eichler Home Tour, scheduled for next weekend May 6-7.

The Highlands tour will now feature 11 Eichler homes in all—with a limited number of tickets remaining at eichlerhometour.org.

"We're excited about this upcoming home tour," said Marty Arbunich, Eichler Network publisher and owner of the experimental, steel-framed home. "It's always a fun weekend, and for a good cause, and the tour's team lead Jim Palmer and his committee have been working hard to cover every detail."

"Things are looking good for the tour," agreed Palmer, whose own 1956 Eichler is one of those making its tour debut. "We have several homeowners who have furiously been working to finish projects."

Arbunich and his two guiding lights for the X-100 restoration, project managers Lucile Glessner (interior designer with Lucile Glessner Design) and JC Miller (landscape architect with Vallier Design Associates), can certainly identify. The steel home, also built in 1956, was added to the tour only belatedly this month because they couldn't commit while so much work on it was underway in the midst of endless rain in recent months.

"The work we have done in the past year was a careful restoration and rehabilitation effort," said the San Francisco-based publisher. "We always preferred repair to replacement, and used original Ernie Braun photos to guide us through the project."

The X-100 was actually among the last of a series of five steel homes designed by the renowned Southern California firm of Jones & Emmons, which, in addition to thousands of Eichler homes, also designed buildings such as the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.

The X-100 was named last year to the National Register of Historic Places.

According to Joe Eichler's son and marketing director Ned Eichler, Joe commissioned the X-100 for two main reasons: as a demonstration house for assorted cutting-edge technologies, such as steel framing; and to serve as a promotion for the Highlands subdivision, a tract that was somewhat far flung in the 1950s compared to most Eichler neighborhoods. It garnered spectacular, nationwide press for Eichler back in the late 1950s.