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Eichler X-100 FAQ

  • In a nutshell, what is the significance of the Eichler X-100?
    In the early 1950s, builder Joe Eichler became interested in the possibilities of building all-steel residential structures. He saw the X-100 as the vehicle for him to explore steel-framed housing and perhaps revolutionize residential construction in the process. Eichler also commissioned the X-100 for two other reasons: to showcase advanced household appliances, some of them prototypes; and to promote his in-progress San Mateo Highlands development. The innovative house turned out to be a promotional bonanza. While it was open to the public during its first three months, the X-100 reportedly attracted over 150,000 visitors and extensive national press coverage. Despite its cutting-edge image, the X-100 was to be the last steel house Eichler built, as the builder came to the realization that the public, and the construction industry, were not ready for his vision of the future.
  • Who was the architect behind the X-100?
    That was architect A. Quincy Jones of the Southern California firm Jones & Emmons. For additional information, please click here.
  • Do you have a floor plan of the X-100?
  • Is there historical film of the X-100?
    Yes, there is. In fact, it’s something we unearthed to our surprise a few years ago. Back in October 1956, when the X-100 debuted as the ‘house of the future,’ Universal-International News featured the home in one of its national newsreels, which were shown between feature films at movie theaters across the country. For more info and a peek at the newsreel story and footage, please click here.
  • Is the X-100 on the National Historic Register?
    Yes. It was accepted onto the National Register June 20, 2016, prior to the onset of the ‘X-100 Renewal Project.’ To see the complete nomination paperwork that was submitted and approved, please click here.
  • What is the story behind the metal curtain that fronts the master bedroom of the X-100?
    When the X-100 made its debut in 1956, the master bedroom was partitioned at one end by a cloth fabric curtain that was powered by a push-button remote control affixed to the wall. When original owner Jesper Petersen bought the X-100 from Eichler in 1957, he brought Eichler back to put up a traditional wood-paneled wall to close off the bedroom from the rest of the house. That wall stood in place for 45 years, until current owner Marty Arbunich and his then-partners came along in 2003 and removed the bedroom wall and brought back the cloth curtain, but minus the remote control. Thirteen years later, Arbunich fell in love with the sparkling Kriskadecor metal chain-link product out of Spain. His aesthetic consultant, Lucile Glessner, also saw the possibilities and began designing a copper-colored curtain with large black circles to carry on the circular motif found inside and outside the X-100. Today, visitors are captivated by the eye-catching curtain. For more about Kriskadecor, please click here.
  • Who designed the two metal gates on either side of the X-100 exterior?
    Those two gates were designed by landscape architect JC Miller of Vallier Design Associates. Unlike traditional gates that tend to block out the view beyond it, Miller’s design actually opened up the two areas with a simple, effective design, and added to the X-100’s familiar circular motif without overdoing it.
  • Are there any other X-100’s besides the one in the San Mateo Highlands?
    It’s certain that Eichler built only one X-100. But we’ve heard rumors over the years that other builders, using the original plans, built X-100 clones of their own. We were never able to confirm any of those reports until 2015, when we investigated a tip on a pair of X-100 sightings from—of all places!—the bayou of Lafayette, Louisiana. Please click here to follow what we uncovered in this amazing story!
  • Who is the current owner of the X-100 and contact info?
    Since 2013, Marty Arbunich, the director of the Eichler Network and publisher of CA-Modern magazine, has owned the X-100. He can be contacted by e-mail here. To learn about the X-100’s succession of owners since the beginning, please click here.
  • Is the X-100 available for tours?
    Even though the X-100 remains a private home, owner Marty Arbunich does open its doors for tours on occasion. For instance, the home is usually featured on the ‘San Mateo Highlands Eichler Home Tour,’ which takes place every three years. Beyond that, Arbunich is open to receiving inquiries from organized groups for educational purposes.
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