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Eichler scraping alert!!! Palo Alto...

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Just drove by the now empty lot next to 1022 N. California (just north of Greer) and saw the bulldozer. Too bad, anyone on the 'box know what's going up? I hope something modern, but the Eichler that was there seemed perfectly ok to me. I can't be sure if down the street is another Eichler scrape job, but just south of Greer on the same side of N. California is another hideous non-designed monster home, sandwiched between and Eichler and a nothing-burger. Wonder if there's a spec builder working the block...
Sad to see.

/te

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Followup: I just spoke to the next-door neighbor, a delightful woman who's owned her Eichler since 1959, a year after it was built. The story is that the owner of the razed Eichler bought it 7 or 8 years ago, never liked it (or any Eichler) at all, and was able to get his demo permit through without ever notifying her. Palo Alto has since changed the rules so that today one would receive notice if the house next door were to be torn down.

Not very neighborly, in my opinion, but even harder for me to understand is this wretched type of person, who buys and lives in a home they hate for years, either slowly mutilating it or waiting until the day they can afford to destroy it. Of course, a monster styro-stucco pile is going up in this case, yet another piece of architectural garbage, no matter what type of architecture one prefers, that typifies new home construction in Palo Alto. And another Eichler, clear redwood ceilings and big DF beams and all, is reduced to rubble. Too bad.

/te

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Joined: Mar 28 2003

I totally agree with you, Tom. I live in a 1955 Eichler in Sacramento, and as out of the loop as we are from normal Eichler circles, the other owners her whom I've met love their Eichlers despite all of their flaws. Despite some "questionable" interior remodeling choices on their part (mostly done in the dark 70's or 80's), they would never think of tearing them down. Fortunately most of the new owners, like myself, have sought out the few Eichlers in Sacramento, so they have no use for those phony Spanish monstrosities that look like they are made out of styrofoam sprayed with cottage cheese that are so prevalent in the Sacramento area.

I admit I am a purist. With the exception of a Miele gas cooktop, I'm restoring mine back to original specs and colors. Unfortunately the entire interior was painted white, so I have had to replace all of ther paneling (luckily I found a source for 10' Luan Mahogany paneling).

I went down to Palo Alto a few months ago to check out my house's siblings and was expecting to find a neighborhood of lovingly restored Eichlers. There were a few, but I was mostly disappointed that a lot had been monkeyed with. I was appalled at a few of them that had been butchered and one was even in the process of having a second story put on it. I honestly think that Sacramento's Eichlers are in better and more original shape overall. The only problem is that there are only about 40 or so of them.

Dane Henas

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Joined: Jun 11 2003

I'm probably the most upset about this teardown and nonsensical replacement as I recently purchased the house at 1022 N California, right next door. My understanding is that this is to be some kind of 3000 sq ft, 2 story thing which I'm sure, as you say, will be one of those nasty things will the square pillars on the front.
Anyway, my wife and I will try to restore our house to its original intent to offset the bad taste of the houses on either side. Maybe we can convince them to tear down and build Eichlers again.
(not holding my breath...)

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Oh, I'm sorry that you have to live next door to whatever is going up (and put up with the racket while construction is on). I must say that for all the talk about green building in PA these days (city buzzing and PA Weekly), nobody seems to make the obvious point: Tearing down perfectly sound structures that have long-lived wood components (ceilings, beams, posts, siding) is NOT a green story. It is a tremendous waste of resources, wood products, and money to throw all that away to replace it with similar materials. I'll not repeat a diatribe about the execrable taste or non-taste that follows, since I covered that in the thread above. Sorry again that you're next door, but thank you a ton for fixing up your Eichler, it seems like a nice plan. Best of luck with it.

/te

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Joined: Jun 24 2003

We moved last August after a similar scrap job across the street in our Eichler neighborhood - the results of which can be viewed at the following link (first photo): http://www.hardisun.com/#pamonster

Happy ending: we're in another Eichler of course!

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Joined: Jun 5 2003

Hardisun: Hahahaha! I love your webpage. It's funny, but true. :)

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Wow. This is terrible. What ever happened to zoning regulations? What are we paying our taxes for anyway? Such an action will lower the home values of the surrounding houses and should be the basis for a class-action lawsuit. The problem with that is the only one making any $$ would be the attorneys.

Our first family home was a Sunnyvale Eichler on Dawn Drive. We drove through the Sunnyvale Eichler areas a few weeks ago (looking for landscaping ideas) and were sickened by the amount of Beverly Hillbillies style Eichlers with awful 2nd story additions (way more than we expected), front doors and windows with crown molding and the like. It was terrible. Things have changed a great deal since the 50's and 60's when those neighborhoods were pristine and laid out as Eichler (and anyone with a sense of planning) intended them to be.

I agree with the others. If you want colonial or victorian or spanish, then have at it -- just don't try to make an Eicher into one.

Cathye

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Joined: Aug 28 2003

Cathye,
I had been trying to come up with a word to describe the remodeled 2 story Eichlers with the ad hoc additions of Victoriana like coach lights, stain glass windows and Greek columns. Your term Beverly Hillbilly Eichler is great!
I should preface my remarks by saying that I have actually seen a 2 story Eichler that is in keeping with the original design and blends into the neighborhood instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.
As far as zoning regs. go I believe the rules are more geared toward keeping business and residential separate but I don't really know.
There are CC & Rs from Eichler which could be reinstated by any neighborhood but they are not legally binding as far as I know. My holiday wish is that the guy in my neighborhood who parks 20 commercial vehicles in the street in front of his Eichler and burns trash in his back yard decides to move on. Compared to this a two story house is nothing.
Cheers, Leslie

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