As it turns out, not all Eichlers are created equal. The case of 1230 South Mary Avenue in Sunnyvale makes or breaks that argument in its new listing for a tidy $1.78 million asking price, showing off the goods and then some.
The four-bed, two-bath home from 1960 displays many of 20th century developer Joseph Eichler’s standard elements, like the towering, pillar-like fireplace; huge glass walls that erase the line between interior and exterior space; and highly symmetrical lines and grids in the ceiling with exposed beams crisscrossing planks.
But the real kicker comes as soon as visitors step through the front door. The trademark Eichler atrium stands right smack at the front of the house, forming a peaked glass skylight right over the entryway.
It’s a jaw-dropping effect in the photos—so much that, nice as it is, the rest of the house arguably can’t compete. Realtor Mark Easterday even began teasing Eichler fans with this home three and a half months before it listed.
Eichler enthusiasts refer to that atrium design as the “double-A frame.” The peninsula features a number of homes boasting the look. And although the houses themselves vary in size and quality of aesthetics, it seems like the double-A was almost impossible to botch. It’s a killer every time.
The developer can’t take all of the credit here, though, as the ad claims this house was also the product of architect Claude Oakland, a frequent Eichler collaborator. Together the pair created some 5,000 homes.
To hear Oakland’s friends tell it, he was the “tortured artist” of the two, the one who infused vision and enduring design into Eichler’s incredibly prolific production line of new buildings.
It does, of course, smart that the duo’s vision of creating houses for the middle class, where everyone in California might hope for the security of a home of their own, turned into seven-figure prices nearly 60 years later.
But sometimes you can’t fight the market. 1230 South Mary last sold in 2000 for $660,000. That’s roughly $956,000 after inflation.