where to look in Redwood City

homecontemporaryAs I’ve said elsewhere, contemporaries are scarce in San Mateo County, and Redwood City is no exception. Although I’ve speculated that this deficit is due at least in part to weather and age, Redwood City is a fairly young city and its weather perfect for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. So maybe San Mateo County simply has more conservative taste in housing. Perhaps the closest Redwood City came to embracing contemporary design was the small and inexpensive Sterling home of the early 1950s, ubiquitous to the Woodside Plaza area, unremarkable except for its wall of glass overlooking the back yard.

But Eichler was in Redwood City with four early projects, all small and similar to his earliest entry-level homes in Palo Alto. Atherwood was his first, built in 1950 around a modified version of the AA-1 that put Joe on the map in Sunnyvale, and at 60 homes it’s the largest of his Redwood City tracts. By far the most common model is a 3-bedroom/1-bath of 1140 sq.ft., the single bath a sign of the times (and location), but there were also a number of 3/2s in the 1400s and 1500s. Many Atherwood homes now have a second bath, whether original or added. These houses are small but have a great feel—even now you understand why they were a breath of fresh air in 1950.

In 1953 Eichler built two very small projects, each just one block long, Grandoak on Grand and Fairwood on Lyons, totaling about 51 homes. Buyers were now more demanding and even Joe’s price leaders offered a second bath. But these are still small 3/2s of as little as 1150 or 1220 sq.ft., although most touch the 1300s and 1400s.

Joe wrapped up Redwood City in 1954 with another small development, Sequoia Meadow, near Atherwood. Just 21 homes, its most popular model was a very small 3/2 of 1110 sq.ft.; only three homes exceeded 1400 sq.ft.

If you’re looking for an MCM townhome, check out Windsor Gardens on Leahy and Carlos.  Built from 1967 to 1969, these are remarkably similar to the attached homes on Stone Pine in Menlo Park built a few years before, but quite a bit more affordable.

The discussion continues at Eichler City on Pinterest, with over a zillion MCM- and Midcentury-related photos and descriptions.  See photos of typical Redwood City Midcentury Modern plus MCM icons around the world as well as lesser-known homes, architects and builders and even a few oddities.  Also check out Eichler City on Facebook

Feel free to contact me at jfyten@cbnorcal.com.

copyright © John Fyten 2004-16

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