Home Tours North and South - Page 2

Two May Eichler home tours—for Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Orange—get set to open doors
Fridays on the Homefront
'Preserve Orange County Eichler Home Tour' house #1 of 7.
Photo: courtesy Better Living SoCal
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
'Preserve Orange County Eichler Home Tour' house #2 of 7.
Photo: courtesy Better Living SoCal

Nicholds is a student in the Heritage Conservation program at the University of Southern California School of Architecture, and the director of that program, Trudi Sandmeier, will moderate the panel discussion the evening of May 18 at an eighth Orange Eichler (not included in the tour).

The panel, which features authors Alan Hess and Tom Zoellner along with Preserve Orange County board member Robert Imboden, will discuss the Orange tracts as part of an 'Eichler Romanza' period, referencing a term used to describe the California phase of Frank Lloyd Wright's career.

As enticing a stimulating discussion of modernist housing may sound, the main attraction of both tours for homeowners will be the homes themselves, the source of inspiration.

"We get ten to 20 Eichler owners [touring] each home, and they're there to get ideas," says Kevin Swartz, lead agent for the Erdal Swartz Team of realtors, co-sponsors of the 'Inspired' tour along with general contractor Keycon Construction & Design and Klopf Architecture. A home tour is a unique opportunity to see quality remodeling work, he explained, noting, "It's rare that quality homes like these go on the market."

The 'Eichler Inspired' tour features four Palo Alto Eichlers tastefully remodeled by Keycon, and a reborn one in the Fairbrae neighborhood of Sunnyvale that was dilapidated only three years ago. It was then purchased by owners of a nearby Eichler and totally rebuilt with the ceilings raised nine inches.

"It's something that I think people will really notice when they walk in," Swartz said of the raised ceiling in the renovated, atrium-style Eichler. Noting that the project garnered considerable attention in the neighborhood, he added, "I think everybody is curious how it turned out inside."

As opposed to the displeasure many Eichler owners feel when their neighbors want to add a second story to such a home, Swartz said Fairbrae residents appreciate "how they [the new owners] kept the integrity of the neighborhood in mind when they rebuilt the home" on a single level.

All proceeds for the 'Eichler Inspired Home Tour' tour will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

For more information or for tickets to the 'Preserve Orange County Eichler Home Tour,' click here.