The Journey from Restoring One Eichler Home to Preserving Modernism in Sacramento


When I started this blog in 2008,  it was a journey about restoring one Eichler home in Sacramento. I did my research and soon discovered there are so many great mid-century and modern resources to celebrate in our region.

My outlook widened and I co-founded Sacramento Modern (aka SacMod) with like-minded neighbors. We started the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour and branched into other events.

SacMod — a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting modern art, architecture and design — is now involved in full-blown preservation efforts in Sacramento. Additionally, I am now honored to be a member of the California State Historical Resources Commission's Modernism Committee.

It all started with this blog — but it has grown into something much bigger. The magnitude of what it takes to fight for a resource, whether it be art, design or architecture, was not originally apparent to me. But I know what's worth fighting for and am willing to receive both praise and a black eye for it!

If you came here for information about Eichler homes in Sacramento, poke around! I pass along this torch to our lovely Sacto Eichlerhood neighbors at fogmodern. They are also documenting their journey restoring their beautiful home.

If you are interested in more information about Streng Bros. Homes, check out my posts of yore. But for information about homes and buildings designed by architect Carter Sparks, I highly recommend the wonderfully curated Carter Sparks Archive, by SacMod board member Justin Wood.

If you are interested in mid-century modern (MCM) in the Sacramento region, check out for our events and for intel on our next tour. Everyday fun stuff gets posted on SacMod's Facebook page and Twitter, including exemplary or otherwise interesting places for sale.

See you 'round our awesome, diverse city. Preservation and progress can happen at the same time! Come visit us over at SacMod - we will try to answer any questions about MCM in Sacramento you have.

There's so much to see and do at the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour!

Only five days left to buy your tickets online - sales end 5.15.13 at 9AM! Tour day is Saturday, May 18, 2013. Carefully read the comprehensive details below.

The 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour is more than just homes — there will be open buildings, exhibits, displays, a vintage transportation show, highlighted points-of-interest, informational booths, a film screening, giveaways, the work of artists and designers, a book signing, treats, swag, and an Instagram contest. You may also see the tour via an optional bike ride — the Design Ride, led by Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates and meeting up at Hot Italian on tour day at 10:30AM.

Here are some of the other fun things you can expect to find on our tour on May 18, 2013:

The tour begins at Sacramento Executive Airport, a wonderful mid-century modern building. Right away you will be greeted by the delightful Atomic Angels in the parking lot — where you can check out our vintage transportation show. We'll have vintage vehicles on display from the California Automobile Museum and individual collectors. The vintage transportation show will continue throughout the tour — be sure to check out the vehicles specially selected for display in front of each home!

After registering for the tour and receiving your guidebooks inside the Airport, check out the displays and exhibits. Our Diamond Sponsor, Lumens, will have a wonderful display featuring modern design products. Other exhibitors and informational booths include:

- Friends of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
The California Museum - with a $2 special discount to attend Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design good through 5.26.13 with proof of your tour ticket purchase through Brown Paper Tickets.

Also at the airport will be a display wall by your hosts, SacMod, featuring vintage images and ephemera regarding the AirportSacramento ZooFairytale Town, and the South Land Park neighborhood.

Don't miss the free screening of a film about Eichler Homes — "People in Glass Houses" by Monique Lombardelli of Modern Homes Realty in collaboration with Kyle Chesser.

We will be giving away copies of Atomic Ranch magazine while they last, and you can win one of ten annual Atomic Ranch subscriptions in our Instagram photo contest! Instagram it and win it! SacMod and Atomic Ranch Magazine are giving away ten Atomic Ranch annual subscriptions to ten lucky winners with the best Instagram images from the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. Just:
1) snap some pix from any of the homes or buildings on the tour;
2) upload your public photo on Instagram and use our hash tag (#SacMCMHomeTour);
3) See if your creative eye catches ours...... It's that easy!

We'll also have goodies, treats, swag and surprises along the tour. Some of these are a secret - you'll just have to join in on the fun to see! We can spill the beans that our friends at Chocolate Fish Coffee will be providing complimentary samples of their delicious espresso at one of the homes. Heather David will be signing copies of her book, Mid-Century by the Bay. There will also be a special retrospective of the Nut Tree in Vacaville as it was in the mid-20th century, with vintage ephemera and images on display at one of the homes.

To top things off we'll be highlighting local artists and designers, including:
Sculptures by Laura Wood and art by Justin Wood.

Modern design products by CPopp Workshop

Modern design products by Matthew Lechowick

Music by Clemon Charles

Modern quilting by Two Accordions

Modern Birdhouses by Nathan Wieler

Art by Diana Jahns

Prints by Asbestos Press

Finally, be on the lookout for Rik Keller, SacMod's official roving photographer, who will be on hand throughout the day and ready to take some snaps of you in your best vintage wear while enjoying the tour! After the tour you'll be able to purchase photos of the day from Rik's site. Rik took wonderful photos of SacMod's last event — A Celebration of the Roush Residence.

See you there!

Sneak Peek #2: Blomberg Home on the 2013 Sacramento MCM Home Tour

Here's our second sneak peek of a home that is going to be on the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on May 18, 2013. This 1950 Blomberg Home will be open during the tour.

Photo by Donald Satterlee

B & D saw this diamond in the rough just last Summer and have made it shine with refinished concrete floors, an entirely revamped kitchen, new windows, and an additional bathroom.

This was a thoughtful and respectful remodel that included careful consideration of energy efficiency and conservation. Clever and creative materials and methods were used to help keep costs down.

Finishing touches include modern classics and local artwork. This is a great renovation that you won't want to miss. So get your tickets now before it's too late! You decide the rate ($20 SacMod members or $30 general admission for advanced sales). You can join and get the discounted member rate at any time. Purchase memberships via the "Add to Cart" link in the upper left hand corner of our blogTickets available via Brown Paper Tickets online.

You'll see more than homes!

1979 photo of the Tower Records & Drugs original neon sign in Sacramento by Ken Brown.

Hey kids!

Did you know that the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour also highlights significant mid-century spots around Land Park and South Land Park?

Our tour is about much more than just homes. We will be identifying 26 "points-of-interest" around the neighborhood; four of these will be open to the public. It's another way to spread the love and share the message about the importance of preserving the great vintage goodness we have here.

Come learn all about the history of the beloved original Tower Records neon sign -- and what it shares in common with another popular sign in town.

Get your tickets -- they are selling fast!

Sneak Peek #1: Jones + Emmons Eichler Home on the 2013 Sacramento MCM Home Tour

Here's the first sneak peek of a home that is going to be on the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on May 18, 2013. This 1955 Jones + Emmons - designed Eichler Home will be open during the tour.

Photo by Donald Satterlee

K & G's wonderful Eichler Home was originally built for Arnold and Lenore Spitz. If that name sounds familiar, you are correct: this was the childhood home of Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz.

You're going to love this distinctive home designed with a cool palette and mix of vintage and contemporary modern. K & G's renovation is a story of persistence and hard work! Their home will be featured in the May edition of Inside Publications so be sure and check it out.

Don't miss the 2013 tour -- get your tickets while you can! You decide the rate ($20 SacMod members or $30 general admission for advanced sales). You can join and get the discounted member rate at any time. Purchase memberships via the "Add to Cart" link in the upper left hand corner of SacMod's blogTickets available via Brown Paper Tickets online.

2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

The 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on Saturday, May 18, 2013 will feature seven homes plus 26 points of interest -- including the interiors of some special, not-often seen, mid-century modern buildings.

Homes include:
- a 1963 custom home based on hexagons (seen here in the photo) designed by William Koblik;
- a 1955 Eichler Home designed by Jones and Emmons that was the childhood residence of Olympic champion Mark Spitz;
- a 1970 Carter Sparks-designed / Streng-built home;
- a 1954 cinderblock duplex that epitomizes indoor-outdoor living;
- SacMod HQ - a 1961 Rickey and Brooks custom home;
- a 1950 Blomberg home with Basalite cinderblocks - recently and beautifully renovated with a keen eye on a tight budget;
- a 1955 Eichler Home designed by Jones and Emmons with a 1962 addition and innovative light fixture designed by architect Grant Caywood.

The tour also includes our highly requested Vintage Transportation Show at the starting point of the tour (Sacramento Executive Airport) as well as special vehicles in front of each home. Attendees will enjoy goodies, swag and surprises. Local designers, artists, businesses and other folks will be participating at various stops. The tour continues to develop with added value and content daily. Guaranteed to be fabulous and not to be missed!

Look for cameos regarding the featured homes in upcoming FB posts, our blog, and local magazines and newspapers.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased tickets thus far! They are going fast!

Get your tickets while you can! You decide the rate ($20 SacMod members or $30 general admission for advanced sales). You can join and get the discounted member rate at any time. Purchase memberships via the "Add to Cart" link in the upper left hand corner of our blogTickets available via Brown Paper Tickets online.

Eichlerific has moved back home to Blogspot!

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood!

Just a little note to let you know that THE REAL Eichlerific has moved back home to

Please update your links and see you 'round!

How to buy tickets to the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

Eichler Home featured on our last tour
 - photo by John Di Domenico Photography

The buzz about SacMod’s upcoming Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on May 18 is growing and tickets are going on sale March 1st!

This year’s tour is going to be exceptional, featuring entry in new homes and commercial buildings in Land Park and South Land Park not seen in the highly successful 2010 tour. SacMod is bringing back the popular vintage transportation show, plus many additional features in the works such as historic informational displays and exhibits, goodies for attendees, and much more.

Additional information and updates about the tour can be found on SacMod's blog and Facebook page. Keep checking in to stay in the loop about new developments!

SacMod's 2010 tour was a great success, with over 1200 attendees. The event was sold out, and unfortunately many people had to be turned away at the door.

Tickets will likely be selling out quickly for the 2013 tour as well, but have no fear - SacMod members will be granted early access to ticketing as well as a discounted rate on tour tickets!

*** Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know ***

Member Ticket Sales 

SacMod member ticket sales begin on March 1, 2013 at 9:00am via Brown Paper Tickets (BPT). Use the BPT link here on SacMod's blog in the upper left hand margin to begin the ticketing process.

Members will be e-mailed a link to Brown Paper Tickets (our ticketing agent for the event), and will also receive a secret members-only password which they can input on the ticketing website to receive the discounted rate of $20.

To ensure access to the 2013 tour, be sure to join SacMod (or renew any lapsed memberships) as soon as possible. 

It's easy to join! Click the link in the upper left corner of SacMod's blog to purchase a 2013 SacMod Annual Associate Membership via Paypal. If you sign up for a membership after ticket sales open on March 1, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with the Brown Paper Tickets link and members-only password within 12 hours. 

Member ticket purchases should be only for themselves and those who are accompanying them during the tour. No re-sales are allowed. Ticket sales will be cross-checked with the membership database to ensure the member password has been properly utilized. Any unauthorized tickets purchased with the members-only password will be cancelled. 

General Ticket Sales

Ticket sales will be open to the general public on March 15, 2013 at 9:00am via Brown Paper Tickets (BPT). Use the BPT link here on SacMod's blog in the upper left hand margin to begin the ticketing process.

If you miss the members-only pre-sale, it is still in your interest to sign up/renew as a 2013 SacMod member to receive the discounted ticket rate. Tickets will be $30 for the general public, and will remain $20 for SacMod members. 

Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. All ticket sales are final.

All advanced ticket sales end on May 15, 2013 at 9:00am.

Event Day Ticket Sales

SacMod cannot ensure that there will be any tickets remaining for sale on the day of the event. Latecomers are encouraged to check in on SacMod's Facebook page and SacMod's blog for updates after advanced ticket sales have closed.

Any tickets sold at the door on the day of the tour will be sold via credit card only, at the increased rate of $30 for SacMod members and $40 for the general public.  

Event Day Details

Event day registration and check in will take place at the Sacramento Executive Airport.

- Check-in will be open from 9:30am to 2:30pm.

- Tour locations will open from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

- The vintage transportation show on the grounds of the Sacramento Executive Airport will be open from 9am to 12:30pm.

- Exhibits at the Sacramento Executive Airport will be open from 9:30am to 2:30pm.  

Please note that the vintage transportation show and exhibits at the Sacramento Executive Airport are free and open to the public.

Looking forward to seeing all of you there!

Hooray for Ray!

Coming up tomorrow is "A Toast to Sacramento Design" -- Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the California Museum from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

This is a benefit event celebrating Sacramento design legends Ray Eames and late SacMod member Miles Treaster“A Toast To Sacramento Design” includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a preview of the Museum’s upcoming exhibit “Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design” with Lucia Eames and Llisa Demetrios of Eames Office, silent auction including the new AMMO book “EAMES: Beautiful Details”, and more. Proceeds benefit the upcoming exhibit at the Museum.
More here.

If you can't make it to the benefit event tomorrow, no worries -- you can still celebrate by attending the opening reception for the exhibit on Friday, February 22, 2013. Details here.

Opening Day: "Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design" at the California Museum" -- Opening day is Saturday, February 23, 2013SacMod is a proud supporter of this exhibit that features Sacramento-native modernist Ray Eames! SacMod helped raise funds via our exclusive tour of the Roush Residence last June and also contributed background research and artifacts to the exhibit.

The exhibit will show a unique collection of artifacts featuring rarely seen works from the Eames Office archives and reveals a new perspective on Ray's 60-year career in the arts, along with her influence on American culture and significance in history as one of the 20th century's most influential artists.

More here.

On a side note: sorry I haven't been more active here -- my work with SacMod has been a full time volunteer position. You haven't seen me in a while on this blog because I've been busy doing research and activism for SacMod, a  501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting modern art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region. Check out SacMod's blog regarding upcoming events, including the 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on May 18, 2013.

Film Night 10.25.12: Coast Modern

Join us for a special screening of Coast Modern on Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm! Presented in collaboration with SacModAmerican Institute of Architecture Central Valley and the Crocker Art Museum as part of the AIA Central Valley Sacramento Architecture Festival.

Coast Modern is an independent documentary by directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome. Traveling along the Pacific North West coastline from LA to Vancouver, the film showcases the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture, and the homes that have become their legacies. This relaxed journey takes us across three generations of Modernist architecture, all finding beauty in their own times, and all taking us back to the basics of true living – a sense of place, light, and a deep connection to the earth.

We are delighted to have two special guest speakers at our screening who were featured in the film: renowned architects Henrik Bull, FAIA and Pierluigi Serraino, AIA. Please stay for the engaging panel discussion after the screening. Those seeking AIA Continuing Education Credits should look for the sign up sheet at the event.

SacMod has researched and will be displaying panels highlighting selected mid-20th century work by  Henrik Bull in our region. Pierluigi Serraino wrote about Mr. Bull's work in "NorCalMod: Icons of Northern California Modernism." Serraino also recently wrote about another architect featured in Coast Modern: "Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions."

Space is limited; we recommend you purchase tickets in advance online. You may also purchase them at the Crocker Art Museum's Admission Desk or call 916.808.1182.

Ticket prices are:
$8 Crocker, AIA, and SacMod Members;  $14 Nonmembers.

We look forward to seeing you there!