Eichler Home Tour Returns

SM Highlands' popular two-day showcase set for comeback October 14-15 weekend
Fridays on the Homefront
The San Mateo Highlands 'Eichler Home Tour' is back—with the 2023 edition: 12 Eichlers for the October 14-15 weekend. Tourgoers will be able to see a variety of different floor plans, study beautifully landscaped gardens, and experience the best of 'indoor-outdoor' living. Above: Tour team committee 2023; photo by Tiffany Chin. All house photos by Dennis Mayer.

At last—the Eichler home tour is back!

One of the brightest spots in the mid-century modern world in the 'before times'—prior to the pandemic—was touring architectural homes. Happily, this year will finally see the return of a particularly popular tour in the rolling hills of San Mateo—the San Mateo Highlands 'Eichler Home Tour 2023.'

Here, in the California-casual setting of the Highlands, the largest contiguous Eichler subdivision anywhere, a dozen Eichler homes—from Lexington to Tarrytown to Ticonderoga—will open their doors to tourgoers. The two-day event is scheduled for the October 14-15 weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are now on sale.

Fridays on the Homefront
'Eichler Home Tour' logo: designed by Tiffany Chin.

"It's my passion project," says tour team lead Jim Palmer, who has lived in the Highlands for 13 years, and organized the last tour, in 2017. (Three years ago, a tour was in the planning stages but was cut short due to the pandemic.)

Palmer is enthusiastic about the upcoming tour. "Just in the last five years, Modernism Week [in Palm Springs] has tripled in size, so to me that's a good indication there's a lot of interest in this sort of thing," he says.

"We expect this year's tour to be better than ever, and have some exciting stuff to present," Palmer says. "There's definitely a growing interest, and a group of preservation-minded people out there who are more interested in restoration than renovation."

Fridays on the Homefront
Tour House: Welcoming atrium.

"Tickets are only $80 for 12 houses, just a slight increase from our last tour, plus you're getting an extra house," says Palmer, noting that the event is 100 percent volunteer driven, "with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards our neighborhood school PTA [Highlands Elementary School]. Donations are tax deductible."

In addition to making the tour a fundraiser, Palmer is on another important quest—to encourage good design choices. "A lot of people buy Eichlers, and then don't know what to do with them," he explains. "So we wanted to showcase them, give people an idea of what you can do…and inspire people to make choices that are in line with the Eichler aesthetic."

Mid-century Eichlers of every style, from view homes to atrium and carport-atrium designs, will be featured on the tour. "We have a couple of homes with really nice views, and a couple more that have been opened up, more 'reimagined,'" Palmer adds

Fridays on the Homefront
Tour House: Lovely dining room and kitchen.

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