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Midcentury Modern dream homes on display: A rare chance to tour 7 Eichlers

Midcentury Modern dream homes on display: A rare chance to tour 7 Eichlers
One of the seven houses that will be included on the Eichler Home Tour on May 18-19. (Valerie Smith / Playa Photography PDR)

There’s something special about Eichler homes.

With their sun-filled atriums, floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and open floor plans, the mass-produced Midcentury Modern tract houses built by developer Joseph Eichler have come to symbolize the California dream of indoor-outdoor living.

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In November, the Orange City Council designated three Eichler tracts as a historic district, and on May 18 and 19, Eichler fans can tour seven of the homes as part of a tour sponsored by the nonprofit preservation group Preserve Orange County.

The self-guided tour will cover homes in the Fairhaven, Fairmeadow and Fairhills neighborhoods, including houses designed by noted architects Anshen & Allen, A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, and Claude Oakland.

Docents will be on site to answer questions and provide directions to participating homes, tracts and events, and on May 19, free child-friendly activities will be provided along the tour route courtesy of the MaxLove Project.

In addition, an evening cocktail party held May 18 in an Eichler home will feature food, music and a panel discussion with author Tom Zoellner, architect Alan Hess and a historic resource consultant. Guests are encouraged to attend in 1960s-inspired attire.

Eichler Home Tour

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18-19

Where: Tour begins at 850 E. Chapman Ave., Orange

Cost: $60, covers both days

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