The rear of the Eichler home of Vilma and Don Buck photographed in Sunnyvale, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The couple has lived in their Eichler for 50 years. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)
Patrick Tehan The rear of the Eichler home of Vilma and Don Buck photographed in Sunnyvale, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The couple has lived in their Eichler for 50 years. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)

Owners of Eichler homes in the San Francisco Bay Area are fighting to protect their neighborhoods from newcomers who want to replace the iconic houses with new buildings.

In Sunnyvale alone, there are six petitions pending to bar the construction of McMansions amid the Eichlers, reports Richard Scheinin of the Bay Area News Group.

It's a "growing Bay Area battle over real estate — pitting one vision of California living against another," says Scheinin.

About 1,125 houses were built in Sunnyvale by developer Joseph L. Eichler, whose distinctive, midcentury tract homes create the sense of bringing the outdoors into their flowing, light-filled interiors. From 1949-74, Eichler — while based in Palo Alto and, later, San Francisco — built 10,500 houses across the region, even entire Eichler neighborhoods, from Walnut Creek to San Jose’s Willow Glen. What a concept: High-quality, affordable houses, attractive and architecturally distinctive to boot.

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