Friday, June 1, 2018

Eichler along the Bay

I, like many of my generation, grew up in a post-WWII suburban housing tract. The home, built in the mid-50s and one of few slightly varied floor plans in my neighborhood, was a modest, 1-storey, 3 bedroom, 1 bath affair with both a front and back garden. The house wasn't large, but it was just enough for me, my two siblings and parents.

Joseph Eichler was a local real-estate developer responsible for developing homes steeped in the modern architecture of the 40s-60s for residential home buyers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I did not grow up in an Eichler home, sadly, but I have been fortunate to visit a few and I think they are fab.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure, if I can use that word, of being part of a cleaning team to help get a local Eichler home ready for sale. This Eichler appeared to be a 4 bedroom with kitchen, living room, sizable office/den, 2 full baths and a small sort of bonus room of off the kitchen whose use could not figure out. (See first picture below.)

The globe-shaped light-bulb covers are all period. Each room had built-in closets with sliding doors that appeared to be covered in a sort of burlap material. I think that the previous owners must have had a pet that liked to scratch things because most of the closet doors looked abysmal, so no photos to show.

As I was cleaning with a set of sliding glass doors open (it was a bit hot inside the house), I was immediately struck by how loudly the planes were flying overhead. They almost sounded as if they were on top of the house; it was freaky. It didn't take long to realise that this house lies directly under the flight path of San Francisco International Airport. So, if any of you have ever flown into SFO, looked down to see a series of homes along a vast stretch of both the bay and a series of lagoons, then you, too, have 'seen' this house. :D

Even if I could afford this home (I can't because it's going for around 2 million), I wouldn't want to live in it due to the constant plane noise. Noise pollution won't deter home buyers. The schools in this town are said to be very good and the close proximity to Silicon Valley jobs is another HUGE draw. So, 'cha-ching' to whoever owns this old Eichler. It's gonna go fast.

Wee bonus room just off of the kitchen

The entire wall save for the fire place area is floor-to-ceiling windows

Room after room along the long hallway

Front door leads to an ample interior courtyard; 3 sets of sliding glass doors surround

The plane was actually much closer to the ground than it appears

The house we cleaned. 

The house next door. 

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, Eichler homes are very cool.

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  2. Besides the planes, I would be a little worried about tsunamis as well, especially in the San Francisco Bay area...

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    Replies
    1. Ha. I'd worry more about earthquakes, if I worried at all.

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  3. The wall of glass would definitely sell me, though I couldn't afford it either. Guess there must be some way to soundproof it. Planes would bother me too and don't think I could tune it out.

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    1. Especially given that the interior courtyard is open to the sky!

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  4. I live in a major river valley that is spanned by two major interstate highways. For most old homeowners, the traffic noise in the valley is unbearable and they've sold and left. The noise can be heard inside, and outside, conversation is not possible. The new buyers are thrilled to live in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where recreational opportunities are unlimited. Pick your poison, I suppose.

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    Replies
    1. Wow. Being surrounded by nature may cancel out some of the negative effects of noise pollution?

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  5. It definitely has that mid-century vibe. And it's all about location. I think constant plane noise would deter me, though.

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    Replies
    1. The location is poor. Funny, too, that these homes were built after SFO. But then flights were fewer, so noise was less of a concern.

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  6. The home looks cool but that is a hefty price to pay for a house that has some issues like lots of noise.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's absurd. The kitchen was a dump, too. The close proximity (traffic blows, tho') to Silicon Valley is a huge draw, I should think.

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