Eichler Homes

By Catherine Munson
Lucas Valley Properties

The birth of a book was incredibly exciting--and the hundreds of loyal Eichler devotees were thrilled. It was a very special occasion celebrating the monumental work of Paul Adamson, Marty Arbunich and Ernie Braun. The book itself is a triumph of excellent design, great photography, and highly readable and concise commentary by Paul Adamson. What is the book I am talking about?

EICHLER/Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream

It was especially meaningful to me to be once again reunited with Matt Kahn who taught us so much about design and making the interiors of Eichler homes come alive with color, art, and personality. Matt looks as young as he did 40 years ago--and spoke with fervor about his role in designing the interiors of the model homes and teaching the marketing people the real scope of the possibilities of such a home.

Jules San Jule was a treat. At 90, he spoke eloquently about working with Joe Eichler in founding the organization and establishing a sound business in building so many homes in a short time. He was still respectful in honoring Joe's committment to racial integration, and recognised the tremendous value that contribution alone has made to the housing industry in the entire nation.

We were treated to an in-depth discussion of the architectural background and history as it relates to the modernism movement by Paul Adamson. Paul's extensive research created the cornerstone for this marvelous book.

There was a progress report on the efforts to have specific Eichler neighborhoods designated as an historic neighborhood. This project has been time-consuming and has required substantial reseach, as well as time spent with many homeowners. During the next year we will learn of the results of this herculean effort.

I had the fun and privilege of telling the audience about many of my personal experiences in working with Joe Eichler who was my mentor. He taught me volumes about marketing, doing business, sales, and public relations. He also taught me about being dedicated to a concept and never straying. His devotion to non-discrimination was a major focus of my wish to work with him. The exposure to great architecture and interior and landscape design was an enrichment for my personal life which I will never stop enjoying. Through it all, Joe was a character, and many funny things occurred which I enjoyed talking about.

The magnificent photograph of Ernie Braun was honored throughout.

My daughter Shelley shared this lovely experience with me, and she greatly enjoyed meeting the icons of the magical Eichler organization.

Finally, the exhibitors came with exciting and innovative ways to repair, update, and upgrade Eichler homes.

It was a productive and rewarding two days for all of us. I so enjoyed seeing Kinji Imada, architect, who worked with Claude Oakland, and Jim Dougherty, with whom I worked many years ago in marketing.

Marty, thank you for a wonderful conference. I hope we can repeat it next year in Marin County.

For more information about EICHLER/Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream, please visit