text by Elisabeth Deffner
During the early 1950s, home builder Joseph Eichler influenced the face of American architecture by building architect-designed, mass-produced homes at affordable prices for the average family. His classic, award-winning style remains the topic of discussion today. Eichlers were attainable dream-houses when the first came on the market, and they're still dream-houses for those who are lucky enough to live in them, and for the hundreds who are hoping that one will go on the market so they can snap it up. Eichler Homes, Inc., was established in 1949, and in 1959 the company expanded to Southern California by developing tracts in Orange. Construction of the Fairhaven tract began in 1960, the Fairmeadow tract in 1962, and the Fairhills tract in 1963. Eichler homes' innovative designs were ahead of their time - not simply because of elements like "front-to-back living," atriums, or including two bathrooms in a three-bedroom house, but because these elements were included in tract houses. The first Southern California city to sprout the distinctive post-and-beam homes, Orange is the site of 350 of the 600 Southern California Eichlers.
Portions of the Orange Public Library's Historic Orange Preservation Online project were supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.