The House that 'Home' Built - Page 4

When national TV put Eichler Homes at center stage with the ambitious "House that 'Home' Built" program

Runnells designed another plan for Drummond in 1949 that was honored as part of the Revere Quality Homes Program, intended to advance "better architect-builder relations and the general improvement of the quality of speculatively built houses." In 1952 Eichler would receive the same honor. In 1950, Drummond's Revere house was published in 'Architectural Forum' and 'Life' magazines. Eichler's first architect-designed house also appeared in both articles.

Drummond's most popular plan, however, was his most conservative, the 'Home for 52 and You.' From the street, the '52' resembled a contemporary ranch, with a front façade of board-and-batten siding of pecky cypress. The rear and interior were more explicitly modern. The signature vaulted post-and-beam ceiling was there, as well as surprising expanses of glass opening onto-a backyard living area.

castilian model

In 1954, Drummond participated in the U.S. Gypsum Research Village project in Barrington, Illinois. He teamed with St. Louis arch-itect Harris Armstrong. Also participating were A. Quincy Jones and Eichler, who collaborated with another builder on site to erect a steel house that predated their X-100 project. Drummond and Armstrong's house was a conventionally framed wood-and-brick structure. It was a simple rectangle with a gabled front, enlivened with an attached carport, trellises, and garden walls that created outdoor rooms. The concept was to enlarge the plan by making the interior rooms extend into the outdoor spaces.

In 1955, during the 'House That Home Built' period, the Drummonds visited Eichler and toured several of his subdivisions. "We called on him because he was a volume builder, he had some good techniques, and he was a nice person," Drummond said. "We saw his plans and he told us who he had working for him. We called (Jones) and he went to work for me." The resulting plan was the 'Castilian,' the biggest and most lavish plan that Drummond would build.

The 1956 Castilian was a quintessential Jones and Emmons H-plan, with terraces facing front and back. This addressed the criticisms that earlier Eichler H-designs had unceremonious entrances. The Castilian proudly turned its broad gable and its larger fenced entry terrace to the street, foreshadowing the Eichler atriums.

Drummond built modern homes until 1964 when, during a housing downturn, he moved to California. He and Francie went on to build a few traditional houses in Pebble Beach and the surrounding area, and then began traveling Central America in search of orchids.

Don and Francie Drummond now live in Carmel, where they have been growing orchids commercially in their ten greenhouses.

Photos courtesy Robert McLaughlin, Ernie Braun, A. Quincy Jones Architecture Archive.


Original Roster of HTHB Builders

truck at building site

The following 20 builders participated in the 'House That Home Built' program, constructing from the same Jones and Emmons' plans. It's not clear how many of the HTHB homes each built, or exactly where they can be found.

East Coast:
Henry S. Schwier - Sea Girt, NJ;
John J. Farina - Newark, NJ;
Laducx Builders - Niagara Falls, NY; John Tilton - Rochelle, NY;
Frank P. Tufaro - Hartsdale, NY;
Nicholas Mauro - New Haven, CT

C.B. Rogers, Jr. - Birmingham, AL

Middle West:
Robert P Gerholz - Flint, MI;
James Raisin - Pontiac, MI;
Bruce Blietz - Wilmette, IL;
Peter Krutschnitt - Cleveland, OH;
E.N. Cassinelli, Jr. - Cincinnati, OH

Great Plains:
Donald Drummond - Kansas City, KS; E.S. Johnson - San Antonio, TX; Marcus C. Bogue, Jr. - Denver, CO; N.D. Woods - Oklahoma City, OK

Pacific Coast:
Eichler Homes - Palo Alto, CA;
Pardee-Phillips - Fullerton, CA;
McCormick - Seattle, WA;
Robert Stanhorn - Portland, OR


This Intact HTHB Original Has Stood the Test of Time

Like many owners of Don Drummond homes in Kansas City, Lisa Okazaki loves modern design. But, like many Drummond owners, she knows relatively little about the builder—and even less about his Eichler connection.

The story of how Drummond built homes in Kansas City based on Eichler designs has been nearly forgotten—or shrouded in myth. "I was under the impression that Drummond had gone to California, saw this style of house, and came back and tried to recreate it," Okazaki says. You hear this story from other owners—or worse—that Drummond had actually stolen plans from Eichler.

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