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Eichler Homes: Design for Living Hardcover – November 1, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jerry Ditto is an Eichler Homes realtor.

Lanning Stern is an associate professor of graphic design at San Jose State University.

Marvin Wax is a photographer, designer, and former professor of graphic design.

Sally B. Woodbridge is an architectural historian and the editor or author of numerous books on architecture.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811808467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811808460
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I refer back to this book several times a year. It's a great introduction to Joseph Eichler and what he accomplished, through his ideal of a modern home for the masses. Some of the homes in this book are truly dream houses for any modern architecture fan. The book isn't full of photos dating from the late 50's/early 60's as one might expect - it's mostly later day photos of beautiful Eichler homes with excellent interior design. For me, this was the only weak point of the book, and why I couldn't give it five stars. I would have enjoyed seing more period photos of the homes, to try and see what the original owners saw when they purchased their homes. I realize that Jerry Ditto et al had to make a hard choice in this regard, and they chose to go with beautiful photos from the current day. After reading this book, you will yearn for your own Eichler, and wonder why more modern homes haven't been designed since. You'll see that Joseph Eichler and his ideas were 50 years ahead of their time, with many of the items found in his homes just now coming into play. A great book for any fan of modern single-dwelling architectue, and a must have for any Eichler owner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This simple and striking coffee table book documents the obssessive Joseph Eichler and the uniquely Californian homes he built from the late 1940s through the 1960s.
Perhaps the only mass produced tract homes which have ever been truly architected, the Eichler home is documented well in pictures and words. It's all here - from the simple facades, the post and beam construction, the evolution of the atriums, the carefully chosen materials and hand-mixed paints, to his failed experiments with steel, and finally, unique modernizations.
The book could be improved with the addition of a complete list of all the Eichler developments.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are an Eichler fan, an Eichler owner, or are just interested in studying mid-century modern architecture built for the middle class, this book is a must-have. Filled with color photographs of many different Eichler homes in Northern and Southern CA, and drawings of layouts by architectural teams such as Anshen & Allen and Jones & Emmons, this book tells the story of Joseph Eichler as told by his son. I have actually never come across any other books on Eichler, so this is the one to have thus far.
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By Rob Keil on December 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book on Eichler, and it does an admirable job of getting the topic out there. The good part is that there are plenty of color photos and the book is very well desgined. The not-so-good part is that many of the homes pictured are remodeled and don't truly represent the original designs. The text is by 4 different authors and doesn't hold together well as a complete narrative. Still, if you are relatively new to Eichler this is a nice browsing book that will give you plenty of visual stimulation. For the definitive historical tome on the Eichler story, get "Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream" by Adamson which is more complete and scholarly but not as visual and colorful. The two books actually make a good set and give you both sides of the story. In all, this is a very good book about beautiful and innovative homes by an important midcentury homebuilder and businessman.
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Format: Hardcover
I remember reading this in 1995 when it came out and thinking it's about time there was a book about this remarkable builder but having recently read it again I must agree with the two star reviewer that it just isn't that good. It certainly isn't as good as the Adamson's book which I consider the definitive work on Joe Eichler and his company.

As well as the light weight text a major problem with the book is the rather amateurish presentation. A difference between Adamson's book and this one is that here nearly all the photos are in color but I don't think that is too critical in an architectural title. What is important is that images give a sense of space and detail inside the structure and a sense of form from the outside. So many of the color photos in the book are quite dark and that is made worse by having many of them too small on the page.

Far too many pages have empty space and relatively small photos. The few floor plans that were included are also wasted because of smallness. There is, on page ninety-nine, a blueprint that would have been fascinating if it was readable, part of it has been cut off and a rather meaningless photo of a heating element has been laid over another part of the plan. It sums up a major design problem: so many images have been used as graphic shapes on the page rather photos that reveal detail about the building to the reader. The designer has just applied personal design whimsy to each page.

Paul Adamson's Eichler book is the one if you want to know about this California builder and it's a lot cheaper, too.

***LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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By A Customer on October 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviewers' comments about the excellence of the Eichler homes and this book. I have many design books, but I keep coming back to this one and never tire of the clean, modern--but not cold--design. I wish Ditto, et al. would produce a video on the subject.
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