Owners through the Years
Marty Arbunich (left) and Adriene Biondo in 2003, at the onset of their ten-year co-ownership.
Following Eichler Homes’ period of X-100 ownership in 1957, four sets of owners carried on for the next 60-plus years. Jesper Petersen, who had moved to the Bay Area from Denmark in 1948, was the first. Founder and owner of S. Christian of Copenhagen, an imported home furnishings business with stores from San Francisco to San Jose, Petersen bought the X-100 from Joe Eichler in early 1957, after its stint as a model home, for $47,000. Even though they didn’t want to give up their life in the Highlands, Petersen, an equestrian and polo enthusiast, and his wife decided to relocate to Woodside seven years later to be near their three horses and stable.
Anna-Lise Pedersen (above in the late 1950s): dedicated X-100 guardian for 40 years.
Petersen’s secretary and close friend, Danish-born Anna-Lise Pedersen purchased the X-100 from her employer in 1964 and continued to live there as the home’s model caretaker for the next four decades. Prior to that move, Pedersen lived in her own wood-framed Eichler (also one of Eichler Homes’ model homes) two doors away from her good friends. “We were close knit, like a family,” she recalled. “The steel house and the swimming pool became my second home.”
While living next door, Pedersen didn’t eye the X-100 for herself. In fact, in 1957, in her first reactions to the X-100’s openness, Pedersen said, “It looks like a barn.” Years later, she recalled, “I remember the first time I saw this garden—all I thought was that it would be a lot of extra work. Eventually, I liked the idea,” she confessed in the early 1990s. By then, she had fallen in love with the X-100. “It’s all one big paradise,” she said.
Anna-Lise Pedersen in 1971, during the X-100’s ‘mellow yellow’ phase.
Pedersen’s tenure at the X-100 began with her living there with her retired parents, both of whom had migrated from Denmark in 1957. “My mother thought the house was too futuristic, of course, coming from the old country,” said Pedersen. “But it turned out to be very convenient for her and my father.” Pedersen, who was single and lived alone during most of her years at the X-100, took great pride in how faithfully she maintained the home. In fact, not wanting to change the X-100 look, she refused to do any remodeling. “Replacement, yes,” she said.
Sadly, in January 2003, Anna-Lise Pedersen passed away. She left behind a wonderful legacy and sense of devotion to the X-100 that she passed along to the next owners. “When I think of this house and all that it has brought me, I feel lucky,” she said. “I love it all.”
Co-owners 2003-’13: (L-R) Marty Arbunich, Adriene Biondo, and John Eng.
In July 2003, with a desire to preserve the X-100 and place it on the National Register of Historic Places, Marty Arbunich, Adriene Biondo, and John Eng formed a partnership as the X-100 Partners. Since 1993, Arbunich has been the director-publisher of the Eichler Network, a Bay Area company devoted to supporting and preserving the architecture and lifestyle surrounding California’s 11,000 Eichler homes and thousands of other mid-century modern homes in the state. He also produces the quarterly magazine CA-Modern.
Adriene Biondo is a driving force committed to preserving mid-century modern architecture and neon signage throughout California. While serving as chair of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee, she worked with the City of Los Angeles to establish an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for the Balboa Highlands Eichler tract in Granada Hills; and with Arbunich on the ‘Historic Quest’ committee, she helped to land the Greenmeadow and Green Gables Eichler tracts of Palo Alto on the National Register.
John Eng is a director/producer working in feature films, live action, animation, and television. He is also a landscape and architectural photographer. Together Eng and Biondo have written a number of books on commercial, residential, and roadside architecture.
Present owner Marty Arbunich alongside the X-100's double oven.
In 2013, Arbunich became the sole owner of the X-100, a role that he carries on to this day. “I immediately got more focused on realizing our original goals,” he recalled, while completing the National Register nomination and assembling a team of professionals to launch a restoration and rehabilitation. “I’ve always considered the X-100 the number one Eichler home. It’s a special house that deserves special treatment."