Suburbia in the Sky - Page 4

San Francisco's Diamond Heights—where there's charm, drama and the most unique Eichlers of all
Eichlers for sale in Diamond Heights are rare, but this exceptionally staged one (top and above) on Cameo Way found its way onto the market in 2017 through realtor Marsha Williams.

And, she says, "There has been an influx recently of young people with kids," after years when newcomers were few.

The neighbors in the Diamond Heights Eichlers do seem worth getting to know. The Rosenthals are a lively couple, still walking together daily through the neighborhood, choosing relatively level streets.

Shel, a retired administrative law judge who for decades enjoyed a downtown commute via bus, and Rosie raised four children in their home. Bunk beds came in handy. Although Shel says he bought the home for practical, not architectural reasons, he and Rosie love it and have kept it almost entirely unchanged, complete with mahogany paneling.

Rosie is a longtime artist, carving wooden busts, semi-abstract sculptures, reliefs, and more, in her home studio. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma owns one of her pieces, a gift that was "intended to celebrate his love for his children," Rosie says.

Rosie, a barbershop chorus singer, spent 11 years trying to convince her husband to take up the art. He came to adore it, performing with the San Francisco Cable Car Chorus at Giants' games, among other audiences.


The Eichlers of Diamond Heights are perched above Glen Canyon Park, with its trails (above), playgrounds, and immense rock outcrops. From the park's vantage point, one can peer up the hill at the modern Galli homes (top) that precariously protrude over the hillside along Turquoise Way, near the Eichlers.

Chanda Williams and Jamie Litchmann both currently work for the wine industry, Chanda as a designer of wine labels, Jamie as a business strategist.

Jack Bernstine and Matt Ogden, who treasure their home, worry when they see neighbors make inappropriate changes.

"I'm a purist," when it comes to the architecture, Bernstine says. "We're very big on authenticity. I want it to be either authentic or in keeping with the sense of what was meant to be here."

One of Bernstine's few complaints about their Eichler is its small garage. He owns five cars, including a "'64 Lincoln, '70 Lincoln, '64 Thunderbird convertible, and a '68 Country Squire station wagon." But he keeps them in Palm Springs.

Troy Litten's Eichler is largely original, and filled with his collections of arts and design: neckties ("I collect them. Never wear them," he says); furnishings; art, much of it from thrift stores; and egg crates and telephones from Eastern Europe, where he travels often.

Some of Litten's collections feed into his paying gig—designing jigsaw puzzles, including one showing his colorful phones.

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