Bringing Back 'the Berries' - Page 4

Enthusiastic neighbors prove there’s nothing 'lower' about the Eichlers of Lucas Valley
Bringing Back the Berries
“Our block is incredibly social,” says Jordan Kurland (center), shown here in the family living room with wife Leslie and son Isaac.

Some neighbors objected. “We were not very happy,” Sigrid says. When a second story was added next to the Painter home, she says, her family reached an agreement to keep the addition’s windows from peering into their bedroom.

Unlike some Peninsula neighborhoods, where second-story additions and two-story replacement houses are still being proposed or built, here in Lucas Valley there have been no such changes in many years, says John Klima.

Still, through the 1980s and ‘90s, Shep Burton says, the tract went through some “rough periods.”  Many homes were rented and upkeep was often poor.

John Klima says some children of longtime owners didn’t care for the Eichler houses. Indeed, one of them told John, “My mother hated this house. She just hated it.”

Bringing Back the Berries

  Bringing Back the Berries
Two views of John and Jill Klima’s Eichler. Top: All the Klimas come together for play in their backyard while Max, their dog, looks on from the shade. Above: Relaxing in the living room with their kids, Kate (far left) and Luke (right foreground).
 

“Two beams fell off the house, and they didn’t even pick them up,” John Says of that woman’s sons, who inherited the home. “They left them lying on the ground.”

“There was a lot of that sort of stuff,” John says, adding, “It was easy to look around the neighborhood and think it was a little bit beat up.”

No more. “People here buy because they want mid-century modern homes,” Kristen Graham says.

Sigrid says newcomers are “buying them and remodeling them, and doing some very nice work with them too. They’re modernizing them while still retaining the mid- century modern feel to it.”

Bringing Back the Berries
The Klimas’ home exterior.

Lucas Valley has more than stylish homes to draw young families. Indeed, many come for the schools. Miller Creek School District runs superb schools.

Plus, smack in the middle of the neighborhood is the Marin Waldorf School, which attracts people from throughout the Bay Area, some of whom move here to be close to the school. “I was at one open house, and half the people there shopping for houses had kids at the school,” John Klima says.

Lisa and David Longnecker moved to Lucas Valley because of the school. Among their neighbors on Juniperberry is Chantal Valentine, the school’s admissions director.

“We picked the school first, and then the house,” Lisa says.

The school is a good neighbor. It has large, open spaces that are used by the public, and connect to residential areas through attractive pathways. Many children walk to elementary and middle public schools and to Waldorf

Looking for parks and open space? Lucas Valley is surrounded by them.

To the east, Marinwood Park has a community center, tennis, a playground, and trails alongside Miller Creek