1955 Newspaper Article: Eichler Homes Opening in Sacramento

Still doing research for the upcoming Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour.  I've found some great articles and advertisements from when our Eichler Homes neighborhood here in Sacramento was new!

These always help provide context and insight to what was happening at the time. For instance, some homes overlook a nature area -- part of Reichmuth Park (formerly Mungers Lake). I pondered whether or not Eichler Homes took this into consideration when they chose this part of Sacramento. It would appear they did.

"LIVING ROOM of one of the Eichler Home units in South Land Park Hills.
All-purpose room in central background. Ceilings are of redwood. Beams of Douglas Fir."

Sacramento Union, May 15, 1955, page 21:

"Eichler Home Units Are Opened to Public

The first units in the Eichler Homes $3,000,000 South Land Park Hills development were opened to the public yesterday, and remain open today, according to Robert Kress, the builder's representative in Sacramento.

The development will consist of 143 three-and-four bedroom, two-bath houses.

Most will also have the extra all-purpose room which has become an Eichler Homes feature. Lot sizes are 80 feet by 125 feet and larger. Prices will start at $17,750 with a top of $21,500, Robert Kress, Eichler representative in Sacramento, said.

The South Land Park Hills property is being developed by Moss & Moss of Sacramento. It is situated about two miles south of William Land Park and golf course and overlooking Munger's Lake.

Eichler Homes has previous built around 2500 homes, primarily in the vicinity of Palo Alto on the San Francisco Peninsula.

The builder has won many awards for design, quality of construction, and neighborhood planning, recently winning both national awards of the National Association of Home Builders convention in Chicago. The awards were made for house design and neighborhood planning in a Palo Alto subdivision.

Plans for Sacramento were developed for the gently rolling location by architects Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons and feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls with sliding glass doors on the protected garden side of the house, beamed ceilings of Douglas fir and 2x8 redwood, cork floors, Philippine mahogany wall paneling throughout, radiant heat and an air-cooling system.

Prices include a built-in Thermador electric range and oven, Waste King garbage disposer and a General Electric combination washer-dryer.

Sacramento was selected as a location after extensive study by the builder, Kress said."

The stability of the Sacramento economy, its high retail sales, the increasing population of civil servants and military personnel, and the reputation of the south Sacramento suburbs as a desirable residential area were the principal factors in the decision to acquire the sizable site, Kress said.

Eichler Homes also owns land and is building in San Rafael, Walnut Creek, San Mateo, and Palo Alto.

Microfilm fishing: Streng Ad, 1961

I've been doing a ton of research these days in preparation for the upcoming Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. Not much time to post; there are three of us working non-stop to bring you the tour and kick off our non-profit association, Sacramento Modern -- to promote, preserve and protect mid-century architecture, art and design in the Sacramento region.

So, I'll be dropping a few cool finds here and there. First up: a May 7, 1961 Streng Homes ad from the Sacramento Bee.

"Contemporary Architecture... 'The Classic' by Carter Sparks, Architect"

More soon!

Another cool MCM home for sale -- it's a Blomberg!

In South Land Park Estates and Terrace, there are a handful of homes that were built by and for the Blomberg Family and, from my research, I believe some were designed by Carter Sparks in the early 1950's. I'm still in the process of fully researching these homes and will post more about them in the future.

In the meantime, check out this lovely home in South Land Park Estates that is newly on the market.

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.

There's something afoot at the South Hills Shopping Center

I posted a while back regarding the old Neptune's Table spot in the South Hills Shopping Center. Recently, neighbors have noticed some activity at this spot.

The result? A new paint job that matches the rest of the center and a missing vintage dining sign. I'm missing the sign, of course.

In other shopping center news, the lease for the 95822 USPS is reportedly due to expire this fall. Neighbors have put in their .02 on the matter and want the post office to stay. If you wish to voice your concerns you may write letters to Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Councilman Rob Fong and speak to post office management on your next visit.

By the way, the original center was designed by William Koblik in 1960.

Once there is an official stance available regarding the outcome of either of these buildings I will post. Stay tuned!

1950s Series -- Another Sacramento MCM Neighborhood: Parkway Estates

Recently a reader asked how to go about finding mid-century modern (MCM) homes in Sacramento. I've been wanting to talk about other neighborhoods that were developing at the same time as our Eichler Homes neighborhood to provide a sense of perspective for what was happening. I'm really impressed with the amount of building activity and choices that home buyers had!

I recently found some old newspaper ads from Parkway Estates: a well-know 50s South Sacramento neighborhood with roughly 1,140 homes. The neighborhood was originally built as a suburb and the city has since grown around it. Parkway Estates is bounded by Franklin Boulevard, Highway 99, Florin Creek, and Southgate Plaza on Florin Road.

Per the neighborhood's website:
"Established in the mid-1950s, Parkway Estates hosted the 1954 Parade of Homes, at that time the largest home-building exposition ever held in the West. The popular event, drawing thousands of spectators, showcased upscale, contemporary homes representing the best in efficient planning, design and construction during the post-war era.

Today the neighborhood, shaded by tall trees on large lots with ample lawns, retains the small-town feel and values of decades past. And that sense of community is apparent at neighborhood association meetings, where locals regularly participate."
The Parkway Estates website has posted a number of interesting historic materials regarding their neighborhood, which was  developed by Randolph Parks and Associates of Western Enterprises, Inc. For instance, check out the original brochure "advertising the popular 'Country Squire' floorplan, which can be found throughout the Parkway Estates neighborhood."

According to a May 21, 2006 Sacramento Bee article written by Alison apRoberts, the Parkway Estates neighborhood banded together a while back to form an association in response to crime and traffic problems. Their civic pride has resulted in a neighborhood watch program, newsletter, tree plantings, Easter egg hunts and an amazing fourth of July event. Per resident Frank DeSart, "If people would only understand that their neighborhoods are worth fighting for." I couldn't agree more.

My first e-interview with Erin from Bows + Sparrows

I'm very excited to report that we have been receiving a great deal of interest in the upcoming Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour!

Erin of Bows +  Sparrows recently interviewed me for a post in her marvelous blog -- you can read more about it here. Thanks so much, Erin! I've been following her blog for great design-related intel -- she has a fantastic eye and shares her incredible finds. Go visit!

In the meantime, I am plodding along on my exhaustive research for the tour guide book -- information on the homes, points of interest, and neighborhood. Wish me luck! I'm pretty sure I'm going to need new glasses after all these hours staring at microfilm!