The Guardian's Steve Rose visits a series of homes in Starboard Court, an idyllically preserved poster town of mid-century modern architecture located just outside San Francisco in Marin County, Calif.
Designed by Joseph Eichler, a California-based property developer that's become a local icon of the modernist era, the homes are inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright house he once rented that moved him to bring open, modernist style-homes within affordable reach of the average resident.
Of 10 original owners, five still live there, and no houses changed hands until 1991. Most of the residents are in their 80s and 90s, though their sprightliness suggests there’s a fountain of youth nearby. What’s more, they’ve barely changed their homes since they were built in the mid-60s. They simply haven’t needed to: it all worked fine and still does. If evidence was ever needed of what postwar American design got right, it’s all here, in an idyllic cul-de-sac outside San Francisco. As one resident puts it, “Nobody ever thought of leaving here unless they were carried out.”