California Dreaming

Summer ’19 CA-Modern offers the season’s perspective on a dreamboat of varied topics
Fridays on the Homefront
Like some daydream come true, here's the new Summer '19 issue of CA-Modern magazine—your chronicle of California mid-century modern design and culture.
Fridays on the Homefront
One of the homes in Walnut Creek's Walnut Grove. Photo: Ken Fox of East Bay Modern
Fridays on the Homefront
From 'Splash,' our lushly illustrated story of mid-century backyard swimming pools.
Fridays on the Homefront
Joe Eichler: ironclad fair housing policy.

A summer's day…and your mind wanders into a dream.

You find yourself strolling through a woodsy neighborhood in suburban Walnut Creek. The tidy homes and yards have that flair that marks a neighborhood built by Joe Eichler, and you walk up the drive to one of them.

As you approach the entry, you admire a stylish front door, replete with period-appropriate doorknob and lock plate hardware. Boldly, you turn the knob and find it unlocked. You enter.

An idealistic Gary Cooper movie plays on the living room television, and the actor opines about modern design. On the coffee table are magazines with mid-century style typography, yet modern content.

About that time you yearn for a cooling dip, and stride over to the sliding glass doors, which open to a glistening swimming pool in the backyard. You exit and dive in without hesitation.

A fantasy? To some, perhaps. But, in fact, you are just daydreaming about the new Summer 2019 issue of everyone's favorite (we sure hope) chronicle of California mid-century modern design and culture, CA-Modern magazine. And you know this because all the aforementioned topics are profiled in the new issue.

The issue opens appropriately with Dave Weinstein, the 'California Modernist,' looking back at how Joe Eichler exercised the progressive values that caused his company to maintain an ironclad fair housing policy.

"Joe never made a big splash in the press about Eichler Homes' open-housing policy," Weinstein allows in 'When Joe Spoke Out about Race.' "Instead, he often worked behind the scenes to spread the word about fair housing."

The columnist goes on to tell the tale of how the developer spoke out and eventually withdrew membership in the National Association of Home Builders when the organization opposed a 1958 court decision prohibiting racial discrimination in Sacramento housing.

A decade would pass after that controversy before Eichler Homes would break ground on Walnut Grove, the Eichler development profiled as our Feature Storyboard in the Summer issue, 'Eichlers in Bloom.'

"The tract possesses a lovely, peaceful, outdoorsy feeling—though it's only two blocks from a busy commuter route, Ygnacio Valley Road—thanks to its tree canopy, most noticeably dozens of tall redwoods," notes the story about a neighborhood most popularly known as 'the Northgate Eichlers,' in accord with names of a nearby high school and park.

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