Eichler’s Last Stand - Page 5

Los Arboles Addition stays caring and connected in a planned mix of Palo Alto one- and two-story Eichlers
Eichler's Last Stand
Eichler's Last Stand
Two of the neighborhood's seven different Eichler models.

For years, though, one family kept its distance—and not because they were snooty. Joe Eichler was known for welcoming ethnic minorities to his tracts. But some homeowners on Torreya Court didn't share the sentiment.

Mary Triggs, who is from Chile, remembers when some families on the court objected to her two young daughters playing with the other kids. She says this was simply because of their ethnic heritage.

The girls were hurt by the treatment but, Mary recalls, "They are very strong."

Triggs and her husband responded by keeping to themselves. But for the past decade or so she has taken part in social activities in the tract. Today, Mary says, "It's more multi-cultural."

In a neighborhood of 30 homes—in fact, in any neighborhood—one person can make a difference. As Los Arboles Addition heads for its 50th year, that person may be Matt Johnson, who moved here in 2015. Matt thinks a lot about Eichlers and Eichler communities and wants to improve his own house in period fashion—and his neighborhood too.

"Which is considered the iconic Eichler model, like a '65 Mustang?" he asks. And, in other neighborhoods, what do people do to really create friendships? Matt plans to organize an Eichler shindig in 2019 featuring speakers and more.

And this is a guy, by the way, who has swum the English Channel.

Herb Fischgrund, who has become a good friend of Matt's, says about the Eichlers, in a tone not quite jaded, "I take it all for granted. I don't want the architecture to change. But it's just a house. But Matt brings such enthusiasm to the architecture of the Eichler.

"Enthusiasm. I mean, it just overflows!"


• The 30 Eichler homes of Los Arboles Addition (some early title and assessor's documents also called it 'Los Arboles Addition No. 2') can be found at the intersection of Middlefield Road and Loma Verde Drive. Homes are on Torreya Court and Loma Verde Avenue. A single home, which backs up to the homes on Torreya, is on Middlefield Road.

Photography: Sabrina Huang, Dave Weinstein