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Is this an Eichler?

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Hi. Can anyone help determine if this poorly staged Oakland home, circa 1957, is an Eichler?:

http://mike.acosta.net/home.html

No atrium, central heating, two story. If difficult to tell, any suggestions on how I can find out. Thanks.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I'd say with some assurance that this is not an Eichler. It is in the same california modern post+beam style, but aside from the non-Eichler forced air heating, it also has siding unlike Eichlers of the same era, and interior details and accessories (the fireplace, cabinets) are not like other Eichlers. Nice house though, and the way the beams extend beyond the eaves, it could easily be designed by one of the architects Eichler used.

/te

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Joined: Mar 27 2003

Also similar to some of the houses William N. Floyd built in Texas although I don't believe he did any work in Oklahoma... I could be wrong and I could ask him the next time I talk to him.

Similar flat roof houses with exposed beams designed by Floyd can be found at http://www.memorialbendarchitecture.com - specifically 503 Electra, 12810 Figaro, 12902 Traviata, 419 Isolde, etc.

http://www.memorialbendarchitecture.com
[img]http://users.ev1.net/~michaelb/bend/tinylogo.jpg[/img]

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Thanks for the replies. Escrow closes next week. Although probably not an Eichler, I hope I'm not merely an ugly step-child around here :) I'm glad to know there are great resources like this that will help us maintain/repair/upgrade our home while staying true to the original design and style.

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

Eichler did build houses in the Oakland hills. If this was a spec (speculation for investment) house, Eichler's name may be on the deed. If this was a custom house build for an individual, there may be no record.

This looks like a very fun unique house.

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Thanks Michael. I'll check the deed.

Yes, I've seen many Eichler-esque homes in the neighborhood. This site indicates that 50 were built in Oakland, so I'm sure I've come across a few of them. There's one three houses down that has been very well maintained.

It is a neat house. We feel fortunate to be able to buy it and are very excited about living there. (The moving part we're not too excited about, however!)

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

Are in a tract called Sequoyah Hills I believe Sequoyah being one of the streets. Anyone know if they used one of those in the Lincoln Aviator commercial?

Wishing for modern home.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

based on the photos provided, this house is not an Eichler. Several design details do not appear as anything I have seen by Jones & Emmons, Anshen + Allen, or Claude Oakland.

That is not to say this is a fine house. The exposed beams, tounge & groove ceiling, kitchen cabnetry, and walls of glass are excellent trademarks of mid-century modern design that were part of many great homes by great architects of the period. There is no doubt, though, you will have many of the same experiences shared by those who live in Eichlers.

Do find out who the architect was (or is). Good luck!

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Joined: Mar 27 2003

How in the world did I get Ohlahoma out of Oakland? Good Lord... that's a horrible mistake. Sorry about that!?

http://www.memorialbendarchitecture.com
[img]http://users.ev1.net/~michaelb/bend/tinylogo.jpg[/img]

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Sequoyah Hills is about 7 miles southeast of where we'll be living. Here's a home for sale there that I believe is an Eichler:

http://www.californiamoves.com/property/propertyphotos.asp?PRM_MlsName=E...

I should be getting the deed for our home shortly, and hopefully I'll learn more about its origin.

No problem with Oklahoma. Hey, nothing tops the guy a few years ago who was supposed to board a plane to Oakland but ended up flying to Auckland, NZ!

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

The house in Sequoyah Hills that you sent the MLS link to is an Eichler. My wife and I looked at few houses in that neighborhood.

I take it your new house is in the Monclair area? There are some nice modern homes here. You might want to check out last Saturday's Chronicle Home & Garden section. A nice article on Rodger Lee - an architect who worked in the East Bay designing modern middle class homes. Your new home has some qualities of his designs.

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Yes, our new, old home is in Montclair. Here's the excellent article about Roger Lee you mentioned:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/04/19...

What a great house in Orinda. You're right, our home has Lee qualities. I wonder if he ever made any exceptions for forced-air heating and a perimeter foundation, which we have.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Roger Lee was terrific. Much of his work is documented in House & Home, House Beautiful, Sunset, and BH&G from the 50s. The house in the SF Gate is reminisce of some of Cliff May's homes. Lee's work embodied that postwar aesthetic of American modernism with an understated Asian feel.

It's a wonder why he never worked with Eichler.

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Just following up on the search for my home's designer, for those keeping score.

Today, I went to an open house a few blocks from my house:

http://www.pacunion.com/listings/propertySearchDetail.php?propID=15470

In a neighborhood of primarily custom-built homes, I was intrigued to find that this house has many identical design details as mine: exact same black exposed beams that extend beyond the roof-line, same wood ceiling, identical wall-of-glass details, etc. These two homes could have passed for different models in a housing tract, circa 1950s.

Anyway, the realtor told me that earlier in the day, a couple of mod-philes came by and were certain the house is a Roger Lee design. Of course, as far as my house is concerned, I'm reaching a couple times: that the two homes have the same architect/builder, and that architect is indeed Roger Lee. That the two homes share the same architect, I feel, is not so farfetched, and while I can't really say about the second assumption, this is the closest clue I've gotten regarding the builder of my home.

Anyway, that was my excitement for the day. I had a really interesting discussion with the realtor about mid-century architecture as well as the vintage Nelson/Miller fixtures in the house.

We'll, my search for my home's definitive builder goes on...

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

epimp: if your home is, in fact, a Roger Lee designed home, this would be significant. You may want to check with his archive, if it exisits since he only did about 100 homes. I'll check my Roger Lee archive to see if I have anything looking like your home. You should start by asking those who have been involved in stories lately to see if an archive exists. Maybe Berkeley or the local AIA chapter might know of an archive.

Typically, an archive has construction documents, photos, and communication regarding the project. Addresses too. Check with the city and county for construction documents. The most recent article about Lee, in the current Eichler Network newsletter has a good story on him and says he was the builder for most of his homes.

You may want to hold off on major remodelling at this time too.

Three years ago I bought a post and beam 1955 tract home with walls of glass, radiant floor heat, glazed gables, low pitch roof, l-shaped open floor plan, car port... At first, I thought it might have been one of A. Quincy Jones' Pardee-Phillips homes, but after a few months of research, I found out it was actually designed by Cliff May and Chris Choate. I had plans for major remodelling, but after discovering it was a May house, I knew more research was in order. I discovered the home was the California top seller in 1953 and on the covers of House & Home, Sunset, House Beautiful, Living for Young Homemakers, Better Homes & Garden, House & Garden, and others between 1951-54. In other words, my remodel project became a restoration project.

Be patient and have fun! It will be a rewarding adventure!

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Joined: Apr 18 2003

Joe, sounds like you found yourself gem a few years ago. Good for you. As for remodeling, the prior owner already did, adding a lower level, garage, converting the carport info a bedroom... Fortunately, they stayed true to the original design.

I was able to get an index of Roger Lee's projects from Cal's College of Environmetal Design site. The actual locations of records, drawings, photos, etc. are listed, and I'll have to go on campus to check it out. According to the list, Lee has done work in my neighborhood, but I'll need to dig deeper.

Lee or otherwise, it's an interesting search. I have a few other leads to check on, so I'm very hopeful I'll be learning more about the home in time. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Good for you! We'll stay tuned!

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