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names of builders of modern homes

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: Aug 12 2007

Hello Everyone

I am trying to locate other builders of modern homes, besides Eichler. I love Eichlers but I don't have to own an Eichler if I can find the open feeling in other styles of homes. I thought being open to more builders would expand my home search.

I have seen in this lounge, the names Usonian, Cliff May, Streng, Alexander. Two realtors have mentioned Mackey's but they can't tell me where they are.

Can anyone provide any more information on any of these homes, their plans, locations or other styles of homes not mentioned?

Thank you so much for your help.

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Cleo, focus on architects, rather than builders. Architects design, builders produce the design.

Cliff May was primarily an architect who mostly hired builders
Joe Eichler employed world class architects A. Quincy Jones & Fred Emmons, Anshen + Allen, Claude Oakland
Alexander, a builder in SoCal, hired architects Palmer & Krisel
Richard Neutra was an architect
Usonions were a particular style of home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect

There are many great books out there

Joined: Apr 10 2003

Found this from other websites
Briefly mentions 'Branden' and 'Gavello' (and of course Eichler) not much in the way of pics or other info.


Wishing for modern home.

Joined: Dec 9 2008

Hi - this is Heather from Apologies for the late reply - just discovered this post. Assuming that you are interested in residential builders in the Northern California area, would highly recommend that you visit the web site of local realtor and MCM afficionado, John Fyten ( You'll find a wealth of information on his site including information on Mackay, Gavello, and Branden homes.

1.) Mackay Homes - while the majority of John Mackay homes are traditional ranches, there is a small development of homes in Santa Clara, CA that look A LOT like Eichlers. That's because the man behind their design was the architect Bob Anshen (who also worked for Eichler). For a 1960s Mackay Homes brochure (The Woodlands, Walnut Creek, CA), see...

2.) Gavello Homes - to the best of my knowledge, the greatest concentration of Elmer Gavello-built homes is in Sunnyvale, CA (see, for example, homes in "Gavello Glen"). Like Eichler, Gavello employed the services of Anshen & Allen. Most notable, perhaps, are the Gavellos with the steep gable roofs (VERY similar to the Claude Oakland-designed gallery models for Eichler).

3.) Branden Homes - while few people will recognize the name, Alec Branden built over 10,000 homes in Northern California before his untimely passing in 1972, at the age of 51. Branden housing developments in the SF Bay Area include Brentwood Village (Newark), Lakewood Village (Sunnyvale), Palma Ceia Village (Hayward), Peralta Village (Fremont), and Tropicana Village (San Jose). Branden built both traditional and contemporary ranch homes. For a 1950s Lakewood Village home brochure, see
Branden used the architect David T. Johnson in the design of his homes. Please look for an article on Branden's Lakewood Village development in an upcoming issue of Atomic Ranch magazine (another great resource for MCM homes)

Hope this helps! Heather

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Stern & Price
They built the Cliff May subdivision in Cupertino in '52. Later they were successfully sued by May for copying his designs.

Joined: Dec 9 2008

Hi, Where exactly are the Clifford May-designed homes in Cupertino? And how large of a development was it? I've always wanted to drive by and take a look. Many thanks! Heather

Joined: Mar 20 2003

next to the Fairgrove Eichler tract. Not real pretty as they were not as organized as the Eichler neighborhoods. Much redevelopment, but still a couple nice gems left. NW of Lawrence Expressway and Bollinger Rd. You'll find more in Castro Valley and Novato. There was reasently one for sale in the Oakland Hills above Berkeley that sold, pretty nice. Since it was a prefab, there may be more.

Joined: May 15 2011

Richard Smith, Broadmoor Exclusives in Tustin. SoCal.

Joined: Jan 5 2007

In Southern California, is anyone familiar with George Sommers ?  (the original plans for our MCM home in Westchester were drawn-up by one "Geo. W. Sommers, 133-1/2 Vermont Ave, Los Angeles " ... see photo in post #8 of the thread:  Non-Eichler owners introduce yourself).  Do not know if Sommers was architect or builder, or what other homes in Southern California (Los Angeles area) he may have been responsible for designing/building.   Every-so-often I'll do a search on Google, but I have yet to locate anything relevant on the web.   Any help would be appreciated!


-- Jim

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