Eichler’s experimental ‘utopia’ stays just about unchanged since 1954 | Information

February 8, 2023 by No Comments

Properties within the Greenmeadow subdivision have been provided in six floorplans and all shared related exterior options, corresponding to low-pitched or flat roofs and clerestory home windows. Courtesy Bo Crane.

Palo Alto boasts a hodgepodge of architectural types that span greater than 100 years. This column takes a take a look at the historical past and significance of Joseph Eichler’s Greenmeadow subdivision in south Palo Alto that the famed builder developed in 1954 as a spot the place common middle-class households may dwell in a tight-knit group of inexpensive luxurious properties.

Joseph Eichler’s work in Palo Alto’s Greenmeadow neighborhood was in contrast to most different subdivisions within the metropolis on the time: He developed the south Palo Alto neighborhood with 270 equally styled midcentury fashionable properties (now referred to as “Eichlers”) constructed round a centrally situated group heart that might function the core of neighborly exercise.

Greenmeadow Neighborhood, Palo Alto

Located between Alma Avenue, East Charleston, Middlefield and San Antonio roads, the 22-block neighborhood is listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations for its prevalence of pristine Eichlers, offering guests a very good take a look at the suburban utopia the builder envisioned when he developed the realm practically seven a long time in the past.

The Eichler fashion is straight away recognizable: clerestory home windows (typically triangular) on the entrance, vertical exterior redwood siding, concrete fireplaces, publish and beam inside building, open dwelling areas with excessive ceilings, and full plate-glass rear partitions. All of his properties from this period have been single-story to offer privateness to back-to-back properties whereas conserving flat or barely sloped roofs.


Center-class dwelling re-imagined

Joseph Eichler. Courtesy Palo Alto Historic Affiliation.

The properties in Greenmeadow characterize Eichler’s early enterprise right into a extra upscale marketplace for middle-class households. Designed by the structure group of A. Quincy Jones and Frederick Emmons, properties within the Greenmeadow subdivision got here in six completely different flooring plans, together with a bigger four-bedroom mannequin that featured a double storage and a separate household room. Different options included kitchens with built-in home equipment, fashionable laundry rooms and a second toilet with it personal exterior entrance so kids may enter with out monitoring grime into the house. Eichler’s T-shaped floorplan additionally supplied a view of the outside house from the kitchen, permitting ladies to control their kids whereas getting ready dinner. The properties felt greater inside than their sq. footage and extra fashionable than different subdivision homes, which enabled Eichler to cost a bit of extra whereas nonetheless conserving costs inexpensive. Properties within the neighborhood offered for a mean of $17,000. At present, the typical residence worth in Greenmeadow is $1.4 million, in keeping with actual property web site Trulia.


A strategically positioned group heart

The group heart, constructed as a part of the deliberate subdivision within the Fifties, stays the middle of neighborhood actions. Photograph by Veronica Weber.

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