The Eichler Neighborhoods
We love the dreamers, the underdogs, the people who buck the trend for what they believe in. And that was Joseph Eichler. When developers were building tracts of non-descript ranch homes with small windows, chopped up spaces, and low rooflines — Joseph Eichler was hiring the very best modern architects of the 1950s and 1960s: A. Quincy Jones, Frederick Emmons, Claude Oakland, Bob Anshen, and Steve Allen. These guys were designing custom homes for celebrities — and Joseph Eichler had this crazy idea to develop tracts of homes like this for the burgeoning middle class. In the City of Orange you’ll find three tracts of Eichler Homes, each with its own feel and floorplans. These homes popularized things in the mid 1960s that only now homebuilders are catching on to: dedicated outdoor atrium lounging spaces to take advantage of our favorable climate, walls of windows that galvanize the indoors with the out, and wide open floors plans with lines of sight that bring families together and encourage interaction.
The homes are just the beginning. Eichler owners are outspoken, creative, witty, an engaged. Living in one of the Eichler neighborhoods is like owning a classic car, being in a car club, and having all of the members living next door to each other. Incidentally, many Eichler owners also own classic cars…from classic pink Cadillacs to silver BMW 2002s. It’s not uncommon to drive down the streets on any given weekend and see neighbors chatting, gardening, and improving their homes. Many homes are architect-owned and curb appeal and even the front steps are chance to showoff one’s design talent. These neighborhoods are special in the unique culture of community that can only exist when you have people brought together by a common interest. And while the houses are amazing (check out the gallery!), it’s really the culture created within these neighborhoods that makes them rare in Southern California.