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Building a Reputation

February 25, 1996

Joseph Eichler was indeed an innovator, with a heavy assist from the architectural firm of Anshen & Allen ("Tract Stars," by Ned Eichler, Style, Jan. 14). The elder Eichler also may have set a trend in his use of model homes. He furnished them with a bare minimum of small-scale furniture in order to give the illusion of spaciousness. He also encouraged "lookers" to explore without being accompanied by a salesperson.

Jack H. Carter

Laguna Beach

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I feel that I've been lucky indeed to live in an Eichler home here in Southern California for 23 years. And knowing what a treasure I own, I've attempted to maintain the house as close as possible to the builder's original design, while many of my neighbors have painted, changed, remodeled, added and tweaked their houses into barely discernible Eichlers. Most of these houses withstood the earthquakes of 1971 and 1994 quite well. I hope your article raises public awareness and, as a result, that the rest of the Eichler houses will now be maintained in the manner in which their designer intended.

Adriana Sastre

Granada Hills

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The Eichler houses seem to appeal to architects, artists, musicians and others who want a home that offers both privacy and a sense of freedom--a residence in which a person's individuality is not limited by the criteria of conventional builders, who target their homes for the masses.

Marcia Sheffield

Thousand Oaks

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Having lived in Eichler's homes, I do not share the adaptation's worshipful attitude toward their design.

The "open" design and paper-thin walls deprived residents of privacy. Ordinary conversation--let alone the sounds that accompany more intimate endeavors--could be heard even in distant parts of the house. When a bathroom was in use, everyone knew it. The Eichler houses should have been called the no-privacy houses.

D. David

Los Angeles

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