Eichler Legacy in Orange County Beginning in the 1940s, Joseph Eichler engaged some of the era’s most progressive architects in developing Modernist housing for middle-income buyers in and around the San Fransisco Bay area. Between 1960 and 1964, Eichler brought his unique vision to Orange County, building over 350 homes in the developments of Fairhaven, Fairmeadow and Fairhills. Featuring designs by the firms of Anshen and Allen, Claude Oakland, and Jones & Emmons, the City of Orange recently designated the three tracts as local historic districts. Many of the homes are among the most intact and well preserved examples of postwar Midcentury Modern design in California. Historic district status provides protection for these distinctive houses and neighborhoods. It also presents an opportunity for future generations to experience a mid-20th century architectural vision.
Tour Weekend, May 18—19 For one special weekend in May, Preserve Orange County is celebrating this preservation milestone with the general public. Armed with an informative booklet, visitors will take a self-guided tour to get a close-up look at the interiors and exteriors of homes in each tract. Some homes feature original materials and finishes, while others have been updated to reflect a contemporary lifestyle. All homes on the tour feature hallmarks of mid-century design, including atriums, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open floor plans that blur the line between indoor and outdoor living.
Eichler Romanza, May 18 We know Joseph Eichler’s vision was influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and that at one time, Eichler lived in a Wright-designed home. Wright’s work in California has been referred to as his “romanza” period. We think Eichler’s work in Orange County is his romanza period. Find out why at this evening reception on the Saturday night of tour weekend. Preserve Orange County will open one additional home on Saturday, May 18 at 7 pm. Join us for fabulous food and music, and enjoy a lively panel discussion about the postwar bonanza that was Orange County at mid-century. We encourage guests to wear their favorite 1960s attire- encouraged but not required!
The evening’s panel will include Chapman University literature professor and author, Tom Zoellner; architect and historian, Alan Hess; and historic resources consultant, Robert Imboden. Their conversation will be moderated by Trudi Sandmeier, Director of Graduate Heritage Conservation Programs at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.
Proceeds from the reception and tour benefit our mission of promoting conservation of the architectural and cultural heritage of Orange County.