Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream


Atriums, household conveniences, and sleek styling made Eichler Homes a standard-bearer for bringing modern home design to middle-class America.

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Atriums, household conveniences, and sleek styling made Eichler Homes a standard-bearer for bringing modern home design to middle-class America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586851842
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 11/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 688,520
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Marty Arbunich is director-publisher of the Eichler Network, a Bay Area-based company devoted exclusively to supporting and preserving the architecture and lifestyle surrounding California's 11,000 Eichler homes. He produces a quarterly newsletter, also titled the Eichler Network, of historical features and home-maintenance solutions, and two other support periodicals. He also operates Eichler Network Online (www.eichlernetwork.com), coordinates a referral service of Eichler-specialized home-maintenance contractors, and manages the Eichler image archive of photographer Ernie Braun. A San Francisco native and Creative Arts graduate from San Francisco State University, Mr. Arbunich has built a thirty-year career in journalism, music production and retailing, and marketing. Since 1993, he has written extensively on the Eichlers

Paul Adamson, AIA, holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and has practiced in New York and San Francisco. He is currently a designer at the San Francisco firm of Hornberger + Worstell, Inc., where he has worked on the design of numerous public, commercial, and residential buildings. His interest in mid-century modernism has lead to his participation in DoCoMoMo (Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement), where he is currently a member of the U.S. board. Mr. Adamson has written about the Eichler homes since 1994. He was the co-curator of a national touring exhibit on the Eichler homes and has lectured widely on them in the U.S. and abroad.

Ernie Braun's romance with photography began six decades ago at San Diego State University, where he pondered a career as a photojournalist. A few years later, during World War II, he worked as a combat photographer for the U.S. Army in Europe. For the next thirty years, while supporting a family of seven, Mr. Braun's bread-and-butter photography revolved around a who's who of architectural, industrial, and commercial accounts. Among them was Eichler Homes, for whom he shot thousands of striking images in many of the Northern California Eichler developments between 1954 and 1968. During that time he received an AIA Architectural Gold Medal. Since the early 1960s, Mr. Braun has been a dedicated advocate of the natural world. He has published six books, mostly on nature photography, including Living Water and Portrait of San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. Today he teaches environmental photography and lives in San Anselmo, California, his home for more than fifty years.

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Read an Excerpt

Modernist residential design was, in many ways, ideally suited to the everyday realities of 1950s American middle-class culture, and in California it meshed with the emerging post-World War II culture better than anywhere else. Many California architects of the generation that matured during the immediate postwar period avidly pursued modernism. They realized that in many ways it directly addressed some of the most pressing social issues of their time. California modern architecture was an outgrowth of European modernism, whose refined building methods, open planning, and technical innovation dovetailed with an emerging, innately modern California culture, defined by an unpretentious social structure, outdoor living, and the beginnings of an economy based on aerospace and electronics.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements 7

Foreword: Reconstructing Suburbia by Gwendolyn Wright 9

Preface 15

Modern Architecture and Everday Life 20

Ambition and Idealism 42

Modern Technology and the Middle-Class House 82

"The Wonderful World of Eichler" 122

Selling Modernism 152

Addressing Community 178

Afterword 224

Photo Credits 228

Index 230

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