Two with a View - Page 6

Often misunderstood, Eichler’s original two-story homes are a rare breed that startle some, but surely please their owners

Tara’s Scrapbook of Two-story Memories

Tara Maginnis at home in 1965, age 5.
Tara Maginnis at home in 1965, age 5.

Tara Maginnis was two years old in 1962 when she and her parents Leo and Marion, who had been living in a nearby single-story Eichler on Terra Linda's Las Colindas Road, moved into a brand-new two-story model (Claude Oakland’s U-34) at 749 Beechnut Court. Tara recently opened up her family’s photo scrapbook and fondly recalled those beginnings.

"My parents were so enthusiastic about the two-story model that they bought the first one before it was built,” Tara remembers. “Then they made moderate pests of themselves suggesting things; making sure the builder didn't back out of promised stuff like stainless steel sinks; and letting me, their rug rat, get tiny footprints on some of the roof beams before they went up.

The Maginnis' expansive view in 1961.
The Maginnis' expansive view in 1961.
Maginnis home on the way up, 1961.
Maginnis home on the way up, 1961.
Maginnis home today.
Maginnis home today.

“Actually a one-level house suspended over a garage by being built on a hill, our U-34's big living room-kitchen-family room section was essentially a big subdivided glass box with terrific views in three directions overlooking the valley. So, when you look at our old photos, you can see the whole valley, including many Eichler flat-tops below, before the trees grew. Back then, it looked just like the song 'Little Boxes.'

“Now, 50 years later, the area is nearly a forest, and you can barely see a roof." Tara and Leo still live at the Beechnut Court home today. 

 

Eichler’s Up Side:
Where and When

Eichler built two-story homes throughout his 26-year building career. Here’s a chronological timeline:

1951-‘52: Portola Valley. As part of the never-completed Ladera Project, a few split- and two-levels stand on Aliso Way and also on La Mesa Drive (at Garbada). Jones & Emmons’ first Eichler designs.

1958: San Mateo Highlands. The famous ‘Life house,’ commissioned by Life magazine and designed by Pietro Belluschi. 1651 Yorktown Road. The design was repeated a year later at Stanford (735 San Rafael Place).