For sale: Two Fantastic Carter Sparks Custom Homes!

Occasionally I find out about mid-century modern homes in the Sacramento region that are either for rent or for sale. I am not an agent nor am I affiliated with one. I am passing this information along as a public service to those who are interested and love MCM design and architecture as much as I do.
Today's fresh catch: Two gorgeous Carter Sparks custom homes.

Slowly but surely I am finding out that many of the mid-century homes that have caught my eye around town have been designed by Carter Sparks. Sparks was a Sacramento area mid-century modern architect who is well-known for his work on Streng projects in Sacramento, Woodland, Davis, and Elk Grove. As a young architect, Sparks spent some time working for one of Eichler's favorite design firms Anshen + Allen (see also this link for more details). In addition to the Streng-built homes, Sparks also designed many custom homes (read about one example here) throughout Sacramento. Two of these custom homes are currently for sale.

The first is on a cul-de-sac in River Park, a wonderful MCM neighborhood off of the American River Parkway and near California State University, Sacramento.
"A River Park landmark, designed by Carter Sparks in 1963, on the market for the 1st time. This special home has a large lot in a cul-de-sac with access out a back gate to the American River. Large entry courtyard has a slate staircase to the 2nd floor residence where you enter a great room with wood floors, corner fireplace and a wall of windows looking out over an ipe deck, pool and river beyond. Cathedral ceilings flood the home with light. Downstairs guest quarters, 2 car garage, RV access."
For more information about this home, please see the MLS Listing.

The second remarkable home (also on a cul de sac) is located in Carmichael, also near the American River Parkway, River Bend Park, and Ancil Hoffman Park.
"Carter Sparks designed custom Streng home is a casually elegant masterpiece. Rosewood flooring, redwood paneling & exquisite lighting enhance the clean lines of mid-century architecture. Features include contemporary kitchen with newer stainless steel appliances, luxurious bathrooms, and den/guest room. Laundry/office & generous closet space. Walls of glass look out to serene private yard. Cul-de-sac setting in a leafy, preferred neighborhood close to the American River. A wonderful setting for entertaining."
For more information about this home, please see the MLS Listing.

*Sigh* I would buy these in a heartbeat if I could!

For additional information on other Sacramento region MCM's that are or have been for sale, check out Modern Valley.

CA Modern Magazine Writer Wants to Meet Sacramento Eichler Neighbors

Sacramento Eichler neighbors should be familiar with CA Modern Magazine which arrives to our mailboxes on a quarterly basis. If you aren't familiar, CA Modern Magazine is:
".... the full-color publication of the Eichler Network. Its content is aimed at mid-century modern homeowners and enthusiasts throughout California, with an emphasis on Eichler homes, Streng homes, Cliff May Ranchos, and Palm Springs classics. Its content focuses on home maintenance features, solutions, and furnishings for modern homes; profiles on special California neighborhoods; breaking news; and much more."
Dave Weinstein from CA Modern Magazine will be working on an article about our neighborhood and will be in town this coming September 26th and 27th. He would like to meet with interested neighbors about our homes, the neighborhood, and our sense of community.

Please contact me if you would like to participate -- atomicpear [at] comcast [dot] net

Original Eichler Home Owner's Policy, circa 1955

I recently acquired an original "Eichler Home Owner's Service Policy" in the original vinyl case and wanted to share. The policy is dated November 19, 1955 -- same year our Eichler home was built!

The Eichler Home Owner's Policy states:
1. During the course of its construction, your Eichler Home has been given a number of very rigid inspections -- three by either the Veterans Administration or the Federal Housing Administration, five by local city building inspectors, continuous inspection and one final inspection by our own construction department. From the breaking of the ground to completion, every care has been taken to assure you top quality construction.

2. Minor defects or omissions may show up after you are in the house. Where the work is that of a subcontractor you will receive faster service by calling him directly. A list of the subcontractors is included in this kit. For other work write or call this office directly.

3. If you feel that there are any defects in your home due to improper workmanship or improper materials, please call us. If your requests are reasonable we will make the necessary corrections immediately.

4. A manual of suggestions on the care and maintenance of your home is given you with this Service Policy. It will help you to understand the minor adjustments to most newly constructed homes necessary in the first few months. It will aid you in the proper care of your home so that its value may be preserved for a long time.

5. This Home Owner's Service Policy is non-transferable. Any obligation under it terminates if the property is resold or shall cease to be occupied by the Home Owner to whom it is originally issued.

Another cool leaflet came with the Policy regarding the Eichler Homes Building Supply Company, located in Mountain View, CA. Apparently this was a "do-it-yourself headquarters" for Eichler Home owners.

The leaflet includes some of the products that were sold at Eichler Homes Building Supply Company.

For a closer look of the Policy and the Building Supply flyer, see my Eichler Homes Ephemera Flickr set.

One home, two families

A week ago, the couple who recently moved in graciously allowed me to meet the original owners' daughter and her family at the Eichler. Thank you M & J!

It was nice to finally meet Dr. and Mrs. H's family on their way to Dr. H's memorial service that weekend. I hope they enjoyed seeing the house one more time as did I -- perhaps a little closure for all of us.

I will continue to post about our Sacramento Eichler neighborhood, Eichler Homes history and other mid-century modern architecture, design and resources. I would also like to feature other neighborhood homes in this blog.

Cool Sacramento MCM: Googie Around Town

Hollywood Hardware on Freeport Boulevard near Fruitridge

US Post Office 95822 on South Land Park Drive near 35th Avenue
Designed by William Koblik

Vic's IGA Market on South Land Park Drive near 35th Avenue
Designed by Sooky Lee

Pancake Circus at Broadway and 21st Street
Designed by Sooky Lee

I was going to put together a post on some of the wonderful Googie architecture here in town. I've covered this topic regarding a few of Googie structures in the neighborhood here and here.

Then I remembered the terrific photographs by Tom Spaulding that I'd seen on Flickr that include all sorts of wonderful neon, signage, historical buildings and architectural elements from the 20th century in our area. Many of which have, tragically, been knocked down.

It was through looking at these photos that led me to his excellent and well-researched blog post from earlier this year regarding Sacramento Googie.


And for more great pictures of Googie architecture, visit the Googie group on Flickr.

Eichler Home Plans For Sale: Claude Oakland atrium designs

Four different Claude Oakland 1960's house plans from the Mill Valley and Oakland Hills Eichler developments are now available for sale.

Article with additional information below, dated July 28, 2009 via SF Gate:

Build your own Eichler home

Even people who are passionate about the mid-century modern homes designed by architect (sic) Joseph Eichler admit that they can represent major renovation and maintenance headaches. So the news that you can build your very own genuine Eichler from scratch with all-new materials should be welcomed by fans of the architect who advocated "affordable housing for all".
Bay Area stock-plan company has just released four original mid-century modern Eichler plans as part of it's Exclusive Studio Collection. The designs were done in the 1960s by architect Claude Oakland who was one of Eichler's regular architects.
All the Eichler characteristics are there: an exposed post-and-beam one-story structure, floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and the promise of easy indoor-outdoor living. One plan includes a signature Eichler open-air atrium around which the home is wrapped.
A reproducible set of master plans costs $4,500 and says it will provide ideas and advice for updating them in line with today's energy codes and lifestyles. A percentage of the price of each plan supports the Environmental Design Archives at UC Berkeley, which preserves the original drawings. For details visit