I've been a lurker on this and the Southern California Eichler website for a long time and I just wanted to let all of you Eichler owners know how jealous I am of you! I live in Dallas and I'll never have an Eichler, so I just sit at my computer or look at my Eichler books so I may live vicariously through all of you! Sad, yes, but true. There are examples of well-designed mid-century homes here that have some of the same features of Eichler's, which I love, but they're the vast minority. I've been to LA and SF several times, but have never driven through any of the Eichler communities. I plan to next time, however, although it'll be a form of self-torture. Oh well. Maybe I'll build an Eichler reproduction one day.
I'm 44 years old and the Dallas neighborhood I grew up in was constructed in the early 1960's. The homes, for the most part, had earth-toned stained vertical siding with brick trim, garage doors of vertical stained siding so they blended with the rest of the facade, large windows that went almost to the floor, exposed indoor brick feature walls, cork floors, and kitchen base cabinets up on skinny legs. Many plans had vaulted ceilings and 3/4 high dividing walls between living areas. No courtyards, though! All one could see of our house from the street was the garage doors and the roof, for the rest of the house was concealed with a full-height brick wall with holes in it making a pattern. As one would say now, "It was SO 60's!"
Our neighborhood was very different from many others and, now that I know about Eichler, I see the influence. I can't say that Eichler homes, themselves, were the influence, but forward-thinking design was. We lived in that home 8 years until my parents moved "up" into a larger, traditional home in a "nicer" neighborhood - ugh. I always loved the style of the first house better.
Thank you for this website. Keep up the good work and do whatever you can to preserve your neighborhoods by preventing tear-downs and gawd-awful second floors. Do they have conservation districts in California? Tear-downs are rampant here and that's what many older, important neighborhoods in Dallas are scrambling to form to prevent the destruction of neighborhood fabric and character. I wish all of you well.
And I envy you your low cost of living! Eichlers are great and I love mine, but I would rather have a Dallas mortgage.
Incidentally I moved to N. California from the Dallas area. Which neighborhood were you referring to?
have no fear Kevin M.
Dallas has a lot of mid-century modern homes, many like Eichlers. I am sure you could find a decent one if you do some exploring. I know Cliff May had many of his modernist ranch homes built in the mid-50s by a builder named Lindsey. I know A. Quincy Jones (who designed many Eichlers) had modernist tract homes built in Dallas by Pardee-Phillips, as well as some custom homes. Besides these California architects, there were local architects who did good work too.
Be sure to check out the gallery at Lotta Living, which contains homes from Houston http://www.lottaliving.com/gallery/single
Have you seen Dallas architect Cliff Welch's work? Check out his home on Waterford dr http://www.welcharchitecture.com/projects/index.html
Thanks for the replies. I'm lurking again...
Jarg - In the early 1960's we lived in Northgate, which was the first of the residential villages in the Las Colinas section of Irving. Our area was only a couple of streets within the giant subdivision. The houses (probably using the same plans - I've forgotten) were turned on the lots 90 degrees, so the backyards were on the sides instead. The garages looked like garages from the street, but were open carports behind the garage doors, opening to the sideyards and making great shady areas to play in during the summer. Masonry screen walls flanked the garage doors and extended to each side property line. It was a rather cool diversion to an otherwise uniform subdivision. I don't know why the couple of streets were different than the rest. Some of the houses still look good and others have been bastardized. Now they're just part of an aging subdivision. They sold new for around $16,000 in 1964 (1,400 sf +/-) and might sell for $150,000 now.
Joe b - You're right, there are a lot of mid-century modern homes in Dallas - but they're rare. Thanks for the links - the Lotta Living website is cool and I've saved it. Houston has huge concentrations of modern homes while Dallas has one here and one there. I've seen some of the posted homes in person.
I'd love to have an Eichler, but I wouldn't want to pay California prices for one. Ouch!!! I'm shocked and amazed at the listing prices for the few that are for-sale. $600,000+ buys A LOT of house here!
Good luck to all of you and I'll continue to dream. This website is great.
Kevin M. posted:
Do they have conservation districts in California?