Planned modern developments—like those built by Joseph Eichler in the ’50s and ’60s—dot the landscape of the California suburbs.
The historic neighborhood of Six Moon Hill encompasses some 23 modern homes on a 20-acre parcel. It was founded by seven architects who joined with architect Walter Gropius—the founder of the Bauhaus School—to form the Architects Collective in 1945.
The homes were designed and built between 1947 and 1953, and included all but one of the founding partners’ homes. Gropius, who taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, built his own innovative home in Lincoln, MA.
“From the beginning, the neighborhood was conceived as an experiment in community living, and embodied the principles of naturalistic siting, modern design, cooperative control/review, shared amenities, and common land,” a description of the community notes.
The community formed by an experiment in modern design mandates owners must run any changes to their house by the community for approval. The area has since been landmarked, and the homes from that era are mostly intact.
“What’s fun is that the houses have a similarity in style, but each one is different. That’s what’s really special,” listing agent Ellie Kubinciak says. She notes that there are two other similar communities from the same era in Lexington, and one in nearby Concord.
Even with a relative abundance of midcentury marvels, it’s rare for one of the homes to come up for sale.
“These folks have stayed a long time. In the neighborhood there wasn’t a lot of turnover,” she adds.
The current homeowners, who are downsizing, have been there since 1996 “and have loved living there,” Kubinciak says. They expanded the footprint and modernized the place. They added a first-floor master suite and library with fireplace, bamboo floors, and a separate entrance.
Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in a picturesque setting, the 3,700-square-foot home has six bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The living room features a wall of glass, which overlooks a Japanese rock garden. The southern exposure bathes the space with natural light, and floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of the courtyard and fountain.
“All the rooms really focus on the nature on the outside. So it’s quite impactful,” Kubinciak says. Some original elements remain, including the slate flooring, white tile, and birch cabinets in the kitchen. A new owner will likely want to switch out the appliances, which are a bit dated.
In addition, the community has shared open space for picnics. For a fee, residents can use an outdoor pool and community center.
“It’s a planned, thoughtful community,” Kubinciak says. “People who buy there are drawn to it.”