Saturday, February 22, 2020

Modern Hanging Art Mobile Electrifies Eichler Home | Mark Leary Designs

Mobile: The Wham (spinning in an Eichler home in Palo Alto)

On home
“But how can it be a home if it has no walls?” asked bird.
“The real question,” replied fox, “is how could it be if it does?”

Thoughts while making
I fear it is still alive. Somewhere. Plotting. Scheming. Waiting for the right time to return. And, yes, we should all be afraid. Very, very afraid.

To call it “shag carpet” would be grossly misleading. Because, in reality, it was much more. A mix of fiery reds and oranges, it was born in 1969 and I would not be surprised if siblings and pets and memories are still lost deep within its twisted strands.

My childhood home in San Diego epitomized the era: a red brick fireplace. Gold doorknobs. Popcorn ceilings for days. Faux brick linoleum tile. Formica countertops. Harvest gold appliances. And that carpet.

Yet it was home and I felt lucky for it, especially now as I reflect on the many places where people experiencing homelessness is sadly so commonplace.

Years later, I would come to learn there were other types of homes being built at this very same time. Inspired by folks like Aalto, Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Wright, Midcentury Modern architects such as Keck, Mies van der Rohe, and Portland’s own Rummer, were reimagining the suburban landscape. Atop that list of visionaries was, of course, Joseph Eichler.

My dad, an architect himself well known for his innovative large-scale work in the healthcare and retail sectors, would later redesign our home—vaulting ceilings, creating walls of windows, soaring skylights … and replacing that shag with beautiful hardwoods.

Gone but not forgotten, that shag lives on in countless photos; memories of holidays and celebrations and everydays that remind me of what really makes a house a home.

What’s one item, element, or aspect from your childhood home you’ll never forget?


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