Orange County certainly has a rich architectural history, with a particular boom in growth during the mid 1900s. Mid-century modern builders flocked to the area to construct beautiful, practical homes and structures not knowing how valuable these heirloom properties would become today, 50 to 60 years later. Orange County played host to pioneering builders during that time. Their heritage is kept alive today.
The legendary MCM Builder Joseph Eichler was not an architect but that didn’t stop him from building some of the most impressive mid-century modern homes in Orange County and throughout California. He had a strong passion for modernist architecture built for the middle class. Eichler carefully selected the architects that drew up his homes and was very involved throughout the design process and construction.
Orange County’s Fairhaven and Fairmeadow Eichler communities in the city of Orange are famous for their wonderfully preserved, sensitively updated Eichler homes. The homes feature flat or gently sloping A-frame roofs. True to the mid-century modern aesthetic, the house’s design brings the outdoors in. Floor-to-ceiling exterior glass walls invite views of nature while bringing in light. Skylights bring in even more light.
Eichler homes in these local neighborhoods often boast atriums, or glass walled “outside rooms” at the heart of the home, by the main entrance. The home envelops the atrium in a ring-formation. One often feels a “zen-like” calm when walking into an Eichler Home due to these unique touches.
Father of the California Ranch House, architect Cliff May had grand (but affordable) ideas for how homeowners could take advantage of the fine Southern California climate. May started building homes in San Diego and Los Angeles in the 1930s. He was very interested in progressing and improving his ideas on livability.
Cliff May homes can be found in Long Beach and Tustin. His houses were designed to encourage indoor-outdoor living. Glass walls and sliding glass doors bring in light and views of the outside. The glass wall theme continues throughout the home, often in each and every room. May was also a fan of the open floor plan. He built homes out instead of up. The house’s layout sprawls similar to a hacienda. Exposed tongue and groove wood ceilings are common. Cliff May homes are refreshingly airy and bright.
Architect Richard Neutra designed amazing buildings throughout the country. His career flourished and continued to grow until he passed away at 78. His son, Dion Neutra continued his father’s legacy as a successful architect in his own right.
Neutra designed grand buildings in Orange County, the likes of the Garden Grove Community Church and the Santa Ana Central Justice Center. Neutra’s Orange County designs feature striking facades and crisp geometric shapes. Neutra also designed many homes in surrounding areas, mainly Los Angeles. His homes feature expansive glass exterior walls, tongue and groove ceilings, open floor plans and interesting play with different building materials. Neutra custom built houses to the specific needs of each client.
If you are looking for your own mid-century modern home in the Southern California area, you’ve come to the right place – we’re the experts! Get in touch today so we can help you find your dream home.