Eichler Homes Keep Mid-Century Style Alive in Silicon Valley
Joseph Eichler and his homes still strut and thrive throughout California, and that is true in Silicon Valley. Among the 11,000 or so homes built that carry his design, Eichler homes, or “Eichlers,” are still in demand by Silicon Valley homeowners. Walk or drive through the Fairgrove neighborhood in southern Cupertino, and houses that boast clean lines, post-and-beam construction, flat or low-pitched roofs, big windows, and airy spaces. Dryscape, citrus trees, and drought resistant plants greet you here and there, but this is not Palm Springs, but Cupertino, one of the many economic and technology hubs in Silicon Valley. Built in the early 1960s, many of Cupertino’s Eichler homes began to look rather sad and were undesirable by the 1980s. The rise in Silicon Valley housing prices, coupled with a renewed interest in mid-century architecture, catapulted these homes into high demand. Of the 220 or so that still stand, most are well maintained and boast BMWs and Priuses where El Caminos and Pintos reigned way back when. Now the neighborhood is proudly one of Joseph Eichler’s legacies. Eichler was in part responsible for expanding mid-century style from corporate offices and Hollywood types like Frank Sinatra to the middle class. In the early 1960s, the Cupertino Eichlers sold for about US$20,000. Multiply that sum by a few and add a zero, and you have an idea of how much Eichler homes can now set you back.