Burlingame, a city known for its genteel pre-war neighborhoods, may seem an odd place to find Eichlers. But the 100 Eichlers of Mills Estate aren’t your average Eichlers, nor is this your average Eichler neighborhood.
Just off Trousdale near Skyline, Mills Estate is one of Burlingame’s “newer” neighborhoods, carved out of the remnants of the Darius Mills estate when it was sold in the early 1960s. Eichlers look more than a little out of place here, mixed as they are with the ultra-conservative architecture more typical of upper-middle class neighborhoods. But it’s a great area of uniformly well-maintained homes, and the location at the top of Trousdale offers the possibility of a wonderful Bay view.
Mills Estate Eichlers are big, from about 1900 to 2300 sq.ft. and sometimes even bigger. And the Eichler flavor is pure and intense: Claude Oakland’s gallery models are much in evidence, as well as a few examples of his adventurous “multi-gable” design.
Anyone who thinks that Eichlers are invariably small, cheap and boring will be surprised by these homes, and by late Eichlers in general. It may well be true that late Eichlers were designed for the confirmed Eichler owner who wanted more: more space, more features, more Eichler-ness. But late Eichlers were also a product of their time, a time of higher buyer expectations and higher raw land values. Not only was “more” what buyers wanted, it was what builders had to build in order to recoup their expenses.
Mills Estate prices are very high today, but still lower than what they’d be for a comparable Palo Alto or Menlo Park neighborhood—if you could find one.
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