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Mocking Modernism

[Photo Credit: Michael Maloney/Chronicle]

Another week, another nadir in journalism: The San Francisco Chronicle proves once again that no editors or fact-checkers are employed there. Currently on offer as somehow "Special to the Chronicle" is one woman's account of living for free in her late grandmother's neglected Eichler in Palo Alto. The old lady bought it in 1968, and by the author's admission, did nothing to maintain it. So she complains about the "weird" radiant heating and lack of insulation and plumbing problems and manages to blame it on the builders- the Eichler brothers- instead of her grandmother's neglect. She was living in the house because as a freelance journalist she needed someplace cost-free to live, which beggars the question of whether she should examine her career choice.

In 1968, Granny probably had no clue she was buying part of her country's architectural heritage, the first mass-production of modernist architecture by builders who were committed to bringing this kind of design to the middle class. Or who were the first developers to not discriminate against African-Americans. The article's a perfect example of writing beyond one's depth, of managing to convey a complete- and in this case, joyful- lack of understanding of history, design, or construction techniques. Cork flooring is not linoleum, bitch. Your grandmother left the trailer to rot in the yard, not the developer.

The lucky grand-daughter also manages to mock her generous sources at the Eichler Network. Apparently she's off to a paying job at UC Santa Cruz. Pray it's not journalism.
· Unhappy With Eichler [SF Gate]
· Eichler Network [Eichler Network]