Double Dose of Touring Fun

Walnut Creek, San Mateo Eichlers hosting two home-tour events over the next month
Fridays on the Homefront
Get set for two Bay Area Eichler house tours during the next month—in the East Bay and San Francisco Peninsula. In all, 25 Eichlers will open their doors for visitors. Above: One of the featured tour homes, in Walnut Creek's Rancho San Miguel, coming Saturday September 30. Photo: Phil Toy

One of the most enjoyable ways to spend a weekend is touring neighborhoods of Eichler homes, inside and out.

If you agree, then you're really in luck during the next month, with two exciting Bay Area Eichler tours on the social calendar—in Walnut Creek (Rancho San Miguel) Saturday Sept. 30, and San Mateo (Highlands) Saturday and Sunday Oct. 14 and 15.

"The last time we had a tour was probably ten years ago," says Gerald Turetzky, president of the Rancho San Miguel Association, about his East Bay neighborhood's Eichler house tour, which promises to be a grassroots, neighborly affair focused on community and camaraderie.

Fridays on the Homefront

In Rancho San Miguel, Joe Eichler built 375 homes, beginning in 1956. Thirteen of them will open their doors on tour day.

"Our neighborhood is all about having fun, organizing events, and, well, just celebrating living here," Turetzky says. "We've had car shows, Easter egg hunts, Halloween haunts, whatever makes a good excuse to get together."

Many residents moved to Rancho San Miguel from Berkeley, he says, "so you'll find quite a few artists, professors, and like-minded people. In fact, we call this 'Berkeley East.'"

Fridays on the Homefront
Rancho San Miguel tour house—coming Sept. 30.

Gerald and wife Patty had been living in Dana Point, in Southern California, before relocating to San Francisco, and then to Walnut Creek in the late 1990s. "Once we moved here, we jumped on this house," he says. "It felt familiar, like the post-and-beam house that I grew up in."

"We love it," he adds. "And what's great is that we'll see folks wandering the neighborhood, and we'll say, 'Hey, come on in!'"

He'll have a chance to do just that September 30, since the Turetzky Eichler, which features a 12-foot by 16-foot 'mini-Eichler' office in the backyard, will be one of the homes open on the tour.

Fridays on the Homefront
Rancho San Miguel tour house—coming Sept. 30.

Also featured will be a very original Eichler, a restoration, and a number of renovations. When organizers bring it all together, says Gerald, they hope the tour will reinvigorate anyone who is looking for ideas—"those 'a-ha' moments"—which for many are "what house touring is all about."

For the September 30 RSM tour, tourgoers will meet up at the Rancho San Miguel Swim Club at 10am. Doors of the tour houses will stay open until 2pm. Admission is $30 general, $15 for RSM Association members. Click here to purchase tickets.

"Our idea with the proceeds is to fund more events down the road, and hopefully put some dollars towards scholarship," says Gerald. "With this one, we just wanted people to come hang out and meet everybody, so we didn't put a big-money ticket on it."

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