When I think of Joseph Eichler I think of what has become an iconic architectural style of homes, that we now refer to as “Eichlers”. These homes were developed and built in the Mid-20th Century as Modern post-war homes.
The way that they are referred to by most as “Eichlers”, you would think that they were designed by Joseph Eichler. Actually, the homes were designed primary by A. Quincy Jones, Raphael Soriano, and Anshen & Allen Architects. The Homes are now iconic for their modern forward thinking design. They featured open interior spaces, sliding doors, large expanses of glass windows and open air courtyards that bring the outdoors in.
Ironically most of Joseph Eichler’s first customers couldn’t have cared less about the architecture. His first customers were clueless to the fact that the homes they were purchasing would become architectural and cultural classics.
I mean, you have to think about who these purchasers were. These guys and gals that were buying these homes back then were not Silicon Valley tycoons or swanky tech guys coming off a huge buyout from Google or Apple. As a matter of fact they wouldn’t have known what a computer was back then.
Remember, Eichler’s first customers were coming back from a World War (A World War!). They were NOT looking for some fancy digs to lay down in the lap of luxury.
The selling point that brought the people of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s to an Eichler Home was the then innovative features an Eichler Home possessed at a price that rivaled lesser homes in the area.
Eichler Homes had two bathrooms, radiant heated floors, and post and beam construction while most homes of the eraa sold postwar had only one bathroom, wall radiators and traditional lumbar framing.