Local resource: windows

Just a little over a mile from our Eichler neighborhood is the headquarters for renowned window manufacturer Blomberg Window Systems. Blomberg specializes in a proprietary line of aluminum windows and doors.

We are in the middle of a renovation at our other midcentury house (circa 1961) and I can vouch these windows are the best. We chose four three-pane Series 1400 casement windows (two with hoppers and two with transoms) and a slider -- all with LoE2-172 glass and clear anonized frames. I have really been impressed with their solid quality and smooth operation.

Please don't put cheesy white plastic vinyl windows on your midcentury modern home. You and your house deserve better. This concludes our public service announcement.

The Flat Top

I don't know what it was about the 1950's that predisposed houses and hairstyles to be flat, but I did make an awesome discovery regarding our roof!

I revisited the plans left behind by the former owners. According to the plans drawn by Caywood and Associates back in 1979, extraordinary measures were taken to improve the roof, including a layer of foam insulation.

As most Eichler owners are aware, the roof can be a real challenge to maintain. At least two different installation companies in the Bay Area specialize in foam roofing for flat top and low slope roofs.

We are currently in the process of getting a two year certification for our roof and I will be sharing these extensive roof remodel plans from 1979 with our roofer.

Solvent + static electricity = Eichler fire?

While this did not happen in Sacramento I feel it is a significant and important issue and thus have decided to post.

My heart goes out to the worker who was burned and to the family who lost their Eichler home in Palo Alto on December 16, 2008.

A worker was using solvent on the walls and the spark was reportedly caused by rubbing. The solvent also acted as an accelerator for the flames. So terrible and sad!

I was informed by a neighbor here in the South Land Park Hills tract that at one point there was once an Eichler on our street that has since been replaced by a conventional home. Reportedly, it burned down in just 20 minutes!

More on the Palo Alto fire here. I will be following this story and issue; will post if further details follow.

More "before" photos, for the curious

A set from Flickr, for those of you who wish to see more of the house.

Sacramento Eichler remodel featured in Inside the City, December 2008 issue

Here is an example of an Eichler in our neighborhood that was recently gutted and remodeled.

The couple did not know of the home's Eichler heritage when they purchased it. They were living in another modern home and wanted to downsize. Per the article:

"They gutted the house down to the original wood walls and followed a methodical plan that incorporated equal parts of practicality and philosophy. During the process, they discovered the original quality construction. The wood walls were perfect—just like the day they were put up... The pair wrote blessings, sayings and prayers on 4-by-6 cards, which they tacked to the 2-by-4s before the new Sheetrock went up."
You can read the entire article (pages 18, 21, and 23) of Inside the City, December 2008 issue here (pdf format - download "City_Dec_08 Web.pdf")

House frontage

We found some plans of work done on the house over the years by the previous owners. They took great effort to maintain the original Eichler style and essence.

Here is an example from 1962 when the garage was transformed into a rumpus room:

Front elevation before renovation:
Front elevation after renovation:The garage was moved to the left of the original, which increased the square footage of the home from 1582 sq. ft. to over 2000 sq. ft. Because the renovation was completed in 1962 with similar building materials from that era (including Arcadia sliding glass doors), the renovation seems to suit our Eichler quite well.

I personally find the remodel innovative, pleasing and useful. Buildings do change over time according to the needs of their occupants. For more on this concept, read "How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built" by Stewart Brand.

This 1962 renovation was designed by Grant D. Caywood, a respected Sacramento architect. Per his recent obituary this August in the Sacramento Bee:

"In 1953, Mr. Caywood opened a Sacramento architectural firm that grew to five partners. He worked on many residential and public projects, including California State University, Sacramento; the Sacramento Zoo, and Sacramento International Airport. He retired in 1986 and was an emeritus member of the American Institute of Architects." http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/1188432.html
Mr. Caywood also built his personal (and lovely) mid-century home in the same neighborhood as ours.

Local resource: lighting

A little nod to the folks at Sacramento-based Lumens Light + Living, who have created a special set of light fixtures and accessories that work well in our Eichlers and Strengs here in town!

Little details about the house

Mondrian-style design on front door, designed and added later by original owner

Built-in kitchen table; parquet floor

One of two original light fixtures in living room

Cute kitchen plaque; means "good at everything." (Special thanks to ChimayBleue on Flickr for the translation!)

Naugahyde lounge pillows

Original Arro radiant heating instructions

Original radiant heating system

Original CoolAir cooling system

Apparently original tile in master bathroom

Arcadia door handle

Original owners, Dr. & Mrs. H.

I thought I'd raise a toast to Dr. and Mrs. H., the original owners of our Eichler. Though we never had the honor of meeting them, a few photographs were left behind. They were avid travelers, art collectors and intellectuals with impeccable taste. Dr. H. was a Urologist at UC Davis Medical Center and was also an amateur photographer. They were well liked in the neighborhood. I'll post more as I learn more about them.



What a treat to have a copy of an original Eichler brochure designed specifically for Sacramento!

This awesome circa ~1956 find comes to us via Dane Henas, who received the scanned version from Marty Arbunich (co-author of "Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream" and Eichler Network Director and CA-Modern Magazine Publisher). Thanks for sharing, Dane (+ Marty)!

Articles regarding Sacramento Eichlers

I'm finding very little has been written regarding our small enclave here in Sacramento. However, here are a few articles, which of course feature local Eichler enthusiast and owner Dane Henas :)

Please see links below, some which are in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.

Nabbing an Eichler - Inside Publications Feb 2005 (download "home+matters.pdf")

A Home Visionary - Inside Publications Jan 2005 (download "home+matters-eichler+homes.pdf")

SacBee article 11.13.04 featuring cool Eichler and Streng homes Courtesy of Pariarts' Martiniland.

Sacramento’s Eichlers or “Oh, is that what those are?” Page 6. July 2004 (download "July 04.pdf")

We're in escrow!

This Eichler was one of approximately 60 homes designed by architects A. Quincy Jones + Frederick E. Emmons and built by developer Joseph Eichler in Sacramento circa 1955, which we purchased from the original owners' estate.

I'm starting this blog to:
- document our adventures preserving this mid-century icon;
- document the history and current state of Eichlers in Sacramento;
- identify helpful and interesting resources;
- report on other modern architecture and design in Sacramento.