Archive for March, 2008

Meeting with Bill Brown of Bill Brown Construction

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Scott Andersen and Bryan met with Bill Brown this morning.  Bryan had called Bill several days ago and arranged for the meeting today at 17509 Via Sereno.

Bill spent almost 90 minutes discussing the concepts for the house and lower level.  He seemed to like the concept and appeared innovative and interested in new projects.

Scott was extremely impressed with Bill, which is important as Scott is a tough marker and we have an immense amount of respect for Scott’s judgment.

Next steps are for Bryan to meet with Bill at his offices at 242 Phelan Avenue in San Jose.

Obtaining Original Plans for Our Eichler Home

Friday, March 7th, 2008

To start our project, it would be great to have a set of blueprints for the existing house.

After searching through the internet, including the Eichler Network, we learned that Claude Oakland, the architect who designed most of the ~11,500 Eichler homes, donated his drawings to the University of California at Berkeley.

Requests for copies of blueprints can be sent to xxxx, who will review their archives and, if they have the plans, will make a copy for the owner.  The cost is $18 per sheet, payable in advance.

According to the column written by Wally Fields (the ‘Eichlerholic’) on our house in the Eichler Network newsletter, Back to the Winchester Mystery Houses, we have an MS-334.

We called and then sent a follow up e-mail to with a copy of our floor plan to see if they have the original blueprints.

After a series of e-mails, Miranda confirmed that they have 7 sheets of the original plans and that it will cost $126.00 for a copy of the blueprints.

We cut a check and sent it off to Environmental Design Services, University of California, 230 Wurster Hall #1820, Berkeley, CA  94720-1820.

It will be great to have a copy of the original blueprints for our house.

What a great way to start the project!

Lunch with the ‘Eichlerholic’ (Wally Fields)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Wally Fields, the ‘Eichlerholic’, met us on August 15, 2004 when he was writing a column for the Eichler Network magazine.

Wally and his photographer, Mark Watson, visited our street, Via Sereno, to interview several residents and take photographs.  The story, Back to the Winchester Mystery Houses, was printed in the Fall 2004 edition of the Eichler Network.

Mark Watkins (left), Wally Fields 'Eichlerholic' (center), and Jo-Anne Sinclair (right) on August 15, 2004.

Mark Watkins (left), Wally Fields 'Eicherholic' (center), and Jo-Anne in 17509 Via Sereno on August 15, 2004.

Lunch with Wally

Bryan met with Wally in Milpitas and they had lunch at the Olive Garden.  Wally brought several books that he thought would inspire us.  (Yes, they did as we bought three books from

During our conversation, Wally recommended a number of potential architects who focus on mid-century modern design and Eichlers.

It was great to spend time with Wally and obtain his insight into our project.