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Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream Hardcover – November 30, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Combining architectural history, Ernest Braun's impossibly idyllic marketing photographs, and character study of a hard-nosed businessman and dreamer..." -- Allen Clapp, Palo Alto Weekly

"Broad in format and with much white space, this book continues to sell Eichler's vision..." -- Neil Jackson, Journal of Architecture

"Paul Adamson and Marty Arbunich have created a satisfying tome for both architectural buffs and retrophiles worldwide..." -- Frank Nolan, Eichler Network

"The book is important for serious students of California modernism and domestic architecture, and, of course, for mid-century groupies." -- Kenneth Caldwell, Line Magazine (of American Institute of Architects, San Francisco)

Top of my list is 'Eichler'...it's a book that captures the spirit of its subject." -- Patricia Poore, Old-House Interiors

From the Inside Flap

Joseph Eichler was a pioneering developer of residential suburbs whose socially conscious ethic progressive planning, and elegant modern design for moderately priced housing in California still serves as a standard for housing developments today. Defying conventional building industry wisdom by hiring a group of progressive architects to plan subdivisions and design reasonably priced homes, Eichler provided more than 11,000 residences that helped meet the dramatic need for post-World War II housing with extraordinary commodity and style.

Through the 1950s and sixties, Eichler Homes gained national and international acclaim for its innovative yet affordable features. Eichler and his architects improved family living when they initiated flexible open planning and built-in furnishings that reformed traditional rooms. The kitchen opened onto a "multipurpose room" (the forerunner of today's great room); the living and dining rooms were combined, and often used to separate the children's rooms from the parents' room; and a central atrium brought the ambient joys of the Californian climate inside while expanding interior vistas.

Eichler's social conscience inspired him to confront prevailing business and political trends that promoted racism and discouraged creative land use. His subdivisions, recalling the planning ideas of Clarence Stein, were based on village concepts, and he publicly declared a policy of nondiscrimination.

Fifties-era photographs capture the now-classic style that introduced middle-class families to a modern way of life. Popular today, as they were then, the Eichler homes represent a legacy of design integrity and demonstrate a level of quality for residential development that remains unparalleled in the history of American building.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; 1 edition (November 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586851845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586851842
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Whether you have an interest in mid-century modern design, Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian architecture or just Eichler...this book is a terrifc buy. While content rich it is still visually appealing and can easily function as a "coffee table" book. This book also serves as a terrific "idea guide" for those in search of small spacce solutions and/or modern landscaping layouts that bring the "outdoors in."
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Format: Hardcover
This book is filled with detailed descriptions of many aspects of Joseph Eichler and Eicher Homes. A marvelous array of photographs complement the engaging text.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully produced book that would appeal to architects or architectural historians but also to any person interested in design in the 1950s and 1960s. Of great interest are the many plans that show the evolution of Eichler's house models, and supported by superb photography of the houses at the time of their completion. What makes this book exceptional is the text which not only describes the houses and Eichler's business, but also analyses our understanding and feelings towards suburbia, the role of the architect in society, land economics and the financial pressures affecting subdivision and building costs which were a constant challenge to Eichler.
In these days of bloated giants, Eichler's houses also demonstrate the attractiveness of small, compact designs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joseph Eichler is known for his 1950's Atrium homes. This book has text and some floor plans, a great addition to my library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incredible historical information and many delightful pictures. I lived in Sunnyvale, CA growing up and many of my friends lived in Eichlers. If I were to build a house again, I would incorporate many of the elements of the Eichlers. This is a fantastic book if you are interested in the subject. It is large, heavy, and of high quality materials.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't buy expecting a great photographic Eichler archive or robust plans/schematics. This book reads more like an academic photo-essay on his working timeline and thesis on mass-produced housing. It starts in early life, tracks education, work history, makes informed analyses on his ideologies, and connects the salient dots to his working peers.
Book is 85% text, 15% photos. Most of the text would be unnecessary if there was more photographic support. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
That said, as a working architect, I found enough valuable tidbits to keep the book. But I wouldn't recommend it for an architectural library, outside of its purely academic appeal.
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By A Customer on December 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Eichler home owner I couldn't wait for this book to arrive and thankfully it was a joy to read and pour over all the original photos in the book. I always knew I owned a special home and now I own a wonderful book that validates that too. Even if you are not a Eichler homeowner, but rather just a fan of mid-century homes this is also a must have for your library as it goes into more then just Joe Eichler and his homes. Enjoy the read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I not only have this book on my coffee table, I also recently purchased one for clients of mine that just bought an Eichler in the Silicon Valley. From the Realtor standpoint, it's one of the best written books I've found about Eichler--the history, his vision, and a wealth of information that any Eichler fan is bound to find fascinating (and also humorous in some of the stories!).
[...]
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