Eichler Home Tour Successful

Midcentury modern architecture remains very much in vogue. The Eichler Home Tour generated a lot of media attention- from the LA Times, the Orange County Register, Architectural Digest online, Westways Magazine, and KPCC’s Take Two, as well as several local newspapers and online news sources.  

The results of the tour and companion event, Eichler Romanza, exceeded Preserve Orange County’s wildest projections: 1000 tickets sold and $70,000 raised from sponsors and ticket sales for our mission of cultivating awareness and advocacy in OC. Some challenges like rain, misplaced tour booklets, and inaccessible restrooms were confronted head on by homeowner goodwill, amiable volunteers, and gracious visitors. The houses made it all worthwhile!

Several organizations such as the OC Historical Society and the Laguna Friends of Architecture enlisted their members to volunteer as docents. Over 150 volunteers dedicated their time and energy. Our seven Lead Docents did an amazing job recruiting and training their volunteers. In a survey conducted following the tour, visitors reported a well-organized and informative experience inside the homes.

Local and regional businesses provided valuable in-kind and financial support. (Go to our sponsorship page for more information.) Leading the pack was Kelly Laule and her real estate firms, Better Living Socal and Eichler Socal. Kelly has been a passionate supporter of the Orange Eichler tracts for many years. She’s leading the effort to nominate them to the National Register of Historic Places, and she was an enthusiastic booster of the Eichler Home Tour from the beginning. Kelly selected the tour homes, and she generously planned and supported Eichler Romanza, our evening reception.

Photographer, Valerie Smith and her firm, Playa Photo PDR drove from her home office in West LA to Orange on two separate weekends to photograph the tour houses. House sponsors included preservation consulting firms Historic Resources Group; real estate agent specializing in historic properties, Crosby Doe Associates; and master carpenter, James Wood Cabinetry. Our Event sponsors were Rellion; preservation consulting firm, Page & Turnbull (they also made their Eichler buttons available to visitors); and real estate agents specializing in Modern properties, SoCal Modern Group. Historic Conservation Inc. and Janus Consulting, both with practices in Orange County, made it possible for us to furnish each homeowner with a gift.

The home tour’s companion event was Eichler Romanza, an evening reception, al fresco dinner and panel discussion at an Eichler home that attracted 125 guests. Food, wine and beer were generously donated by Wil Dee, owner of Provisions, Chapman Craft Brew, and Haven, all businesses you can patronize in the historic district of Old Towne Orange.

Krista Nicholds