Eichler History | The Highlands

The San Mateo Highlands Eichler subdivision, the largest contiguous Eichler development (over 700 homes), was built over an 11-year period from 1955 to 1965. It incorporates a wide-range of models, from smaller 3-bedroom homes to a number of unusual split-level and two-story homes built in the early 60's.

The subdivision shows a broad range of Eichler styles. All the principal Eichler architects were employed: Anshen & Allen, Jones & Emmons, and Claude Oakland. Sadly, some homes have been modified almost beyond recognition, with awkward second-story additions, remodeled exteriors not in keeping with the modernist design, and in a few cases total makeovers that obliterated the Eichler style.

Fortunately, many homes remain intact and true to their heritage. An increasing number of new owners purchase Eichler homes specifically because they are unachanged, and are now restoring them in keeping with their mid-century modern origins.

The Highlands is home to the radical all-steel custom Eichler home known as the X-100 (sketch below right by Matt Kahn). It was designed by A. Quincy Jones and built in 1956 to attract potential buyers to The Highlands. Read more about it in this article on the Eichler Network site, in the February 1957 issue of Living for Young Homemakers, or view an original sales brochure.

A unique multi-level home was built in The Highlands by Eichler in 1958 based on a design by architect Pietro Belluschi. It was featured in a Life Magazine article in November 1958 and came to be known as the "Life House". Read more on the Eichler Network site.

The Highlands is reached in San Mateo County by taking the Bunker Hill Drive exit east off the 280 Freeway. It is approximately 25 miles south of San Francisco, California.

Read about the Highlands Eichler Re-Zoning Debate

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This map showing the location of The Highlands is from a 1965 Eichler sales brochure, illustrating that even ten years after the beginning of the development, there was no freeway access (the 280 and the 92 did not yet exist) and the subdivision was still considered somewhat remote.

Cover of a late 1950's Eichler sales brochure promoting one development phase of The Highlands subdivision.

February 1957 issue of Living for Young Homemakers with cover photo of the X-100 and feature article. Below is a sketch of the X-100 used in an Eichler brochure.

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