far right side of the back of the home-roof line has that *Googie* architecture feel!
Every once in a while you find a place, or it finds you, which changes your perception of architectural history...
I had this experience last Sunday in an Eichler which was so old & so original I wanted to weep. Honestly, I had an out-of-body experience as I walked through this home!
Architecturally speaking, 16 Irving Avenue is important. Not only is it a shrine, a church, a temple to early Eichler homes, but it is a window into Eichler's early thinking, his early development as a builder. This home is a missing link between Eichler's early influence, his inspiration, Frank Lloyd Wright and what most of us consider the common/for-the-people Eichler which many of us know and love.
16 Irving Avenue was one of only five Eichler homes built in Atherton, in the Lindenwood subdivision. Designed by Ashen & Allen, the Eichlers of the Lindenwood were super homes on large lots, with all of the latest post-war features.
How's this for Eichler history... the Eichlers lived across the street in Lindenwood- on Irving Avenue- for 14 years!! 16 Irving Avenue (the home for sale) was the only other large, *test case* Eichler Home which was built on this street in Atherton. Lillian Eichler used these early homes to test out what she liked in a modern home. This would heavily influence the homes to come. It was the Eichlers' laboratory!
And, it looks like 16 Irving Avenue was sold by the original or second owner. It has all the hallmarks of an estate sale. Nothing has been changed. No worn out item has been replaced. Sure it has sun damage/termite/dryrot, but it's all original! Mid Century shelving and lights are still installed. It's a time capsule!
After completing the Sunnyvale Manor II subdivision, Eichler was interested in seeing if he could build and sell nicer homes to upper middle class families. Plans, and even brochures, were made to sell a development of 3-4 bedroom Lindenwood homes for $42,500 to $49,500 which, in 1951, was a fortune. They would have been the pricest Eichlers on the Peninsula. The test case Eichlers were built, one of which I just toured, but they did not sell well. Plans were abadoned for Atherton with only these five super homes built.
Flash forward to present day Lindenwood, Atherton. Tech money coming in & mid century homes being torn down. Over-sized French Chateau, Faux Craftsman, and Meditteranean-style homes being plopped down on these serene, leafy, one-acre lots. The home next door, for example, is this overly large, white, *French Colonial* monstrocity which leers into the Eichler's side yard.
The listing realtors did disclose that this homes was an Eichler, BUT also advertised it as a: "Private location and fantastic opportunity to build the home of your dreams in Atherton's sought after Lindenwood neighborhood."
They sold this architecturally significant home as *lot* value! When I saw this Eichler it had two offers *on the table*. One was just accepted on November 17th. Is it too much to ask for an Eichler enthusiast buyer? Probably. I feel very lucky to have photographed 16 Irving Avenue before it was too late.
It makes me sick to accept that this incredibly important home will probably be torn down soon...
16 Irving Avenue, Atherton asking $3,495,000 now in escrow
- 5/3, 3,480 sf, 40,533 sf lot (that's right, almost an acre!)
- Extra large Eichler, all original
- Built 1951
- Ashen and Allen designed, with a lot of Joseph Eichler input!
- Early exclusive development
- Eichler himself lived across the street
- Single garage and carport
- Sweeping driveway and entrance
- Parklike back yard with original trapazoidal pool
- Time capsule house, all original!!
front view- the home is so large and so horizontal that it's not very noticeable from the curb. the lot is immense for a suburban subdivision. shot from the street, with a large section of lot to the right, this is a corner lot. Incredible!
left side with garage and carport
long & low carport
former owner's vintage Mercedes looks great in the carport
carport has a fiberglass screen, in theory an early version of the glass screens which would become common in the Jones and Emmons Eichlers
view from the entrance walkway. Joseph Eichler's former home is across the street!
front entrance with lots of bullet shaped lights (all in great condition), I believe this color scheme is all original...
early maple door with copper door knob & escutcheon
long hallway to bedroom wing as you look to the left after entering the home. Cork floors look to be original!
step inside the front door & you see a trapazoidal, brick planter. This motif is predominant in the architecture as well. it's repeated throughout the home in accents such as the pool, planters & sliding door handles. The paneling throughout the home is not mahogany, it looks like oak.
I've gone right after the front door & and walked through the kitchen. completely original. a washer/ dryer and white dishwasher were added, but everything else is all 1951! There are extra large, safety glass, rectagular skylights here and in bathrooms. The floor looks like the original sheet linoleum.
Photographs copyright Suzanne Dunn, The Glass Box
Please do not copy or re-post without permission. Thanks!!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any realtor or real estate brokerage. I am not a general contractor or home inspector. I am an Eichler homeowner with 15 years of renovation experience. Observations on homes are my own and are made during a walk through viewing. Buyers should obtain their own inspection by a qualified home inspector before purchase.