Eichler Blog

The Golden Gate Ferry’s Fall Schedule is returning with a most welcome addition for commuters who make the trek between Larkspur and San Francisco.  Last summer when I mentioned the possibility of more commuter options between the North Bay and San Francisco, approval of the plan had not yet been published.  Since my last report, the new schedule has been authorized, and I think it will be a welcome change for those of you who travel between the North Bay and the City on a regular basis.

Although one mid-day run has been eliminated for the fall season, the schedule has added a new 4 pm weekday departure from San Francisco, meaning that commuter ferries will run between San Francisco and Larkspur every 30 minutes during the evening commute hours. 

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This is the year for Heritage Homes of Petaluma’s Biennial House Tour and it promises to be an all day affair of fun and architecture.  The 2014 Petaluma House Tour will include 6 private homes and 2 historic buildings.  What is of special interest to all of us Eichler and Mid-Century Modern fans is the fact that one of this year’s featured homes is a home built in the early 1960s.  Other homes open for show will include a charming 1918 cottage, a 1929 Craftsman home, and a Greek revival home built in the 1870s.  The two historic buildings in the show are a Mid-Century (built in 1948) “work in progress” live/work space and a 1920s building that is currently home to a French farmhouse antique shop. 

The rules for a home to be considered for status as

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If you’ve ever wondered what living in a floating home would be like, you’ll have your chance to find out this Saturday when the Sausalito Floating Homes Association presents the 29th annual Sausalito Floating Home Tour.  This year, the tour’s theme is The Artistry of Waterfront Living and we’ll be treated to the talents of resident artists as well as being introduced to the art of living on the water.  And, yes, I imagine it is a bit of an art.  Just as living in an Eichler home is unique – living on the water is even more unique and, I imagine, comes with its own set of delights and challenges.

If you have already taken in a tour or two, don’t be too quick to have the “been there, done that” attitude.  This year there will be at least 16 floating

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If you are a modern art lover looking for some visual stimulation this weekend, check out the new exhibition, Closely Considered – Diebenkorn in Berkeley, opening at the Richmond Art Center this Sunday, September 14, 2014.

In case you aren’t familiar with the name, Richard Diebenkorn was a leading artist in the California School of Abstract Expressionism, as well as an influential “first generation” artist in the Bay Area Figurative Movement during the 1950s and ‘60s.  From the mid-1950s to 1966 Diebenkorn lived in Berkeley, and during these years his work evolved from abstract to figurative painting.  Work from his Berkeley years will be exhibited along with the work of other important artists of the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

The exhibition

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My grandmother always used to say, “A stitch in time saves nine.”  There is nowhere that this old adage holds truer than in home maintenance.  Doing a little seasonal upkeep around the house doesn’t take long and will help keep your home in tip-top shape.  With summer beating a hasty retreat and autumn just around the corner, now is a great time to bite the bullet and invest a little time in making sure your home is ready for the upcoming winter months.

Although Eichler homes are unique, upkeep on them is very similar to any other home.  Among the things you’ll want to check on and fix up in your Eichler in the autumn are:

  • Fireplace and chimney:  Have an annual inspection/cleaning by a certified professional.
  • Heating system: Many of us
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Many of our Eichler homes have wood-burning fireplaces, which worked out well in the 1950s and ‘60s when air quality wasn’t the issue that it has become today.  I know that all of the Bay Area and Sacramento have Spare The Air restrictions that can restrict or prohibit the use of indoor or outdoor fireplaces, wood stoves, etc.  It could end up being pretty disappointing if you’d planned a cozy weekend snuggled up by the fire with a few good books – only to have the powers that be declare a few “no burn” days.

A great option (and one that I have availed myself of) is to have your wood-burning fireplace converted to a gas or electric fireplace.  It is surprisingly easy to accomplish and can provide you with a homey fire at the flick of a switch.

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I am excited to see that Forgotten Modernism and Super Sonic artist Michael Murphy has joined forces with Melissa Arendt for a new exhibition of contemporary art at San Francisco’s 111 Minna Gallery.  The opening reception is Friday night (September 5, 2014), and the show will run through September 27, 2014.

I’m a fan of Michael Murphy in particular.  He is best known for his Forgotten Modernism series, which acknowledges San Francisco’s Eichler homes as well as interpreting many of San Francisco’s architectural gems with a modernistic twist.  Recently he has expanded his work to include architecture of Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Melissa Arendt is new on my personal radar.  She is a Sacramento girl who creates what she describes as “aesthetic

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Shorter days and cooler weather don’t mean the end of gardening season.  Autumn is a great time to refresh your landscape, put a little pep in your yard, and get ready for next spring.

A quick and easy way to punch up your fall landscape is to add the colors of autumn to containers.  They are easy to put together and add seasonal interest to a yard that has become a little tired after giving its all throughout the spring and summer.  Some great cool-season container plantings include Bergenia, whose leaves turn a glossy red or bronze in the fall, calendula and pansies, which in a mild climate can offer color throughout the winter, and the always-reliable aster.  If you are looking for fall color in your permanent landscape, autumn is the perfect time

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San Francisco’s eleventh annual Architecture and the City month is about to begin and, as always, it promises to be an amazing celebration of all things architectural.  This year’s theme, Home: My San Francisco, will explore how architecture and design factor into a modern interpretation of home.

What I’m particularly lovin’ about this year’s celebration is that it includes the kids.  Of course there are the events that we grown ups would enjoy - including films (and the lineup looks like fun), professional lectures, and all sorts of tours that take participants to just about every nook and cranny of the City; but it’s the programs for children that pique my interest.

As part of Architecture and the City month, the Contemporary Jewish Museum is

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Although Hillsborough might get credit for being the place where Joseph Eichler found his inspiration (Eichler’s story indicates that he was very much influenced by his experience living in the Bazett House), Hillsborough is still very low key in the Eichler world.  The Eichler homes in Hillsborough are few and far between and are mostly custom homes built in the mid-1960s and early ‘70s.  The scarcity of Eichlers makes it all the more exciting that one has recently hit the real estate market.

Listed for a whopping $3.498 M, the Hillsborough Eichler for sale, located at 410 Eucalyptus Avenue, is a rare find and won’t stay on the market for long.  Designed by Claude Oakland, the home is a custom Eichler featuring a dramatic A-frame design with a

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