Real Estate Report: Postwar Suburban Bliss, Updated


The Basics: A 4-bed, 1.75-bath house built in 1964 by Joseph Eichler in the Balboa Heights neighborhood of Granada Hills. Beautifully updated, the house came on the market in October and asking $739K.

Not So Basic: As the realtor puts it “Eichler homes line the concentric hillside streets where the low-pitch slope of Oakland’s design seems to pay homage to the San Fernando Valley’s growing aerospace industry of the Cold-War era. Like a B2 Bomber’s absolute symmetry, the axial plane of the house is most noticeable from the street, seemingly as if lining up along a tarmac from one of the many Los Angeles area airports.” Which could win the quote for 2011’s best brokerbabble, except that’s its true.

Seeking to bring a high level of affordable suburban modernism to the growing, auto-centric middle class, Eichler hired some very good architects and maintained long relationships with them— here, Claude Oakland, plus Jones & Emmons, whose A. Quincy Jones became one of Los Angeles’ mid-century starchitects. Looks like a flying-wing aircraft to us:

The current owners completely changed the palette— painting the wooden ceiling and beams white, resurfacing the floor:

Oakland is believed to have developed the “atrium’ feature for Eichler— although its use goes back to ancient Rome— to admit light, air, and an intimate interior view. Another shot of the atrium, plus one of the house’s renovated baths:

The new kitchen/family room, and a pristinely simple living room:

Admittedly, the success of this renovation comes from the severely-edited interiors. Which translates to “throw out everything you own” for most of us. 

We like to think the owners deployed materials Oakland and Eichler might have specified— it’s amazing how many Eichler houses have been “updated” with French doors and Tuscan kitchens. Below, the back of the house. There may be room for a lap pool along the side somewhere, plus we’ll take gravel over lawn any day:

More: All images via Crosby Doe’s exemplary website— for hours of Modernist house porn. For more information about Joseph Eichler, check out the uber-Eichler site, Eichler Network. There’s more information on A. Quincy Jones, plus a brief overview of Claude Oakland’s career and the Balboa Highlands neighborhood.

Listing: 17110 Nanette Street, Granada Hills [Redfin]