About Marin Eichlers — Terra Linda, Lucas Valley, Marinwood, Strawberry, Sleepy Hollow
Between 1950 and 1975, Joseph Eichler and his company (Eichler Homes) built over 10,000 homes throughout California–including Marin County (Terra Linda and Lucas Valley),The East Bay, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Thousand Oaks, and Granada Hills. Eichler, who was a California-based, post-war builder, sold many of his homes for about $12,000. His desire was to create affordable, unique homes, designed to take advantage of California’s mild climate. Eichler was also one of the first large developers to disavow racial restrictions in housing developments.
Eichler homes are mid-century modern in style, characterized by a melding of indoor and outdoor living. The designs were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, who was a consulting architect for Eichler Homes and Wright’s sensibilities guided the architectural firms chosen to design Eichler’s homes. Many Eichler homes have atriums, walls of glass, open beam ceilings, open floor plans, and radiant heat.
The homes have a post and beam design. Thus, ceilings are held up by 4″x12″ beams, resting on 4″x4″ posts. Plywood sheathing provides lateral support. The structure is built over a slab foundation on grade (there are no steps in Eichler homes–there are 2-story Eichlers, however) with radiant heating systems set in the concrete (hot water is pumped through pipes, which heat the slab). Because of the method construction, these homes perform very well in earthquakes.
Eichler was a perfectionist, dedicated to thorough community planning, professionalism, and high quality materials in construction. His homes remain icons of contemporary design and functionality. Indeed, the television series CSI films many of its episodes in Eichlers (located in Orange, California) as the homes provide a modern and stylish backdrop.
Where Are Marin County Eichlers Located?
Marin County has about 1,550 Eichler homes located in four basic areas: (1) Terra Linda–there are two tracts of homes here, Terra Linda South (with about 225 homes built between 1958 and 1960) and Terra Linda North (with about 625 homes built between 1955 and 1961–including about 8 two-story models); (2) Marinwood (with about 350 homes built in 1957 and 1958)/ Lucas Valley (with about 300 homes built between 1962 & 1966–this community is highly cognizant of promoting restoration and maintaining the integrity of Eichler’s vision through the Lucas Valley Homeowners Association); (3) Strawberry/Mill Valley (there are about a dozen homes, including some two-story models, in this highly desirable location); and (4) Sleepy Hollow/San Anselmo (these 15 homes were built from 1972-1974). In addition, Eichler built custom homes throughout Marin County.
Be sure not to miss Open Hearts, Open Homes, September 15th & 16th, 2007. A benefit for Hospice By The Bay.