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Alfred Eichler
California State Archives 

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Born in Missouri in 1895, Alfred Eichler grew up in San Francisco. At age 13, he suffered from spinal meningitis, which left him deaf for the rest of his life. He persevered and went on to study architecture at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design.

Eichler began work for the Division of Architecture of the Department of Public Works in 1925, becoming a supervising architect in 1949. Like most architects of state buildings, his name is not widely known, yet the structures he designed are a part of everyday life for many Californians — schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, office buildings, bridges, prisons, border stations and parks facilities. Sometimes he produced the drawings that showed how a building designed by someone else would look; other times he took the project from concept to completion. Occasionally his designs would not be built, or would be modified prior to construction.

Upon retiring in 1963, Eichler expressed the hope that he and his wife of thirty-seven years, Virginia, would travel the world, but she died the following day. Eichler spent much of his free time painting watercolors of scenes in Sacramento and surrounding counties. He died in 1977.

Shown here is a sampling of Alfred Eichler's prolific career: architectural drawings, mostly in pencil, but some in pen and ink and colored pencil. His designs are often marked by stark contrasts of light and shadow, with structures framed by a brilliant California sky.

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Lunch Counter, Fresno State College, Student Union Building  not dated. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Color Pencil Sketch. 11 1/16 inches x 14 1/4 inches  

Lunch Counter, Fresno State College," n.d.
F3274:108
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Fresno State College, Student Union Building. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Color Pencil Sketch
11 1/16" x 14 1/4"


San Diego State College perspective. Designed by H.S. Hazen and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Sketch. 12 1/4 inches x 14 1/4 inches

 

San Diego State College," 1932
F3274:130-1
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

San Diego State College perspective. Designed by H.S. Hazen and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Sketch
12 1/4" x 14 1/4"


Administration Building, Santa Barbara State College Riviera Campus, preliminary design. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Pen and Ink Sketch. 4 3/4 inches x 10 7/8 inches  

Santa Barbara State College," 1956
F3274:156
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Administration Building, Riviera Campus, preliminary design. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Pen and Ink Sketch
4 3/4" x 10 7/8"


Interior court of the Music Building at Santa Barbara State College, not dated. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Sketch. 11 3/4 inches x 17 3/4 inches  

Santa Barbara State College, Music Building," n.d.
F3274:197-55
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Interior court of the Music Building at Santa Barbara State College. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Sketch
11 3/4" x 17 3/4"


Aerial perspective of the California Department of Education Building, downtown Sacramento, California located on the corner of Capitol Mall and 8th Street. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Sketch. 8 7/8 inches x 10 1/2 inches

 

Education Building, Sacramento," 1950
F3274:200
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Aerial perspective of the California Department of Education building, downtown Sacramento, California located on the corner of Capitol Mall and 8th Street. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Sketch
8 7/8" x 10 1/2"


State Fair entrance gate on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, California.  Tuesday, August 31 thru Thursday, September 9, 1926. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Sketch. 10 3/4 inches x 16 inches

 

State Fair Entrance," 1926
F3274:247-3
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

State Fair entrance gate on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, California. Tuesday, August 31 thru Thursday, September 9, 1926. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Sketch
10 3/4" x 16"


Fish Hatchery at Yosemite. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Color Pencil Sketch. 11 1/2 inches x 39 3/4 inches

 

"Yosemite Fish Hatchery," 1926
F3274:248a
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Fish Hatchery at Yosemite. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Color Pencil Sketch.
11 1/2" x 39 3/4"


An aerial perspective of the proposed, but not built, Governor's Mansion located at 15th and N Streets in downtown Sacramento. Drawn by Alfred Eichler. Sketch. 13 3/4 inches x 18 1/2 inches

 

Governor's Mansion," 1947
F3274:263
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

An aerial perspective of the proposed, but not built located at 15th and N Streets in downtown Sacramento, California. Drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Sketch
13 3/4" x 18 1/2"


View of the library in the superintendent's residence, Pacific State Hospital, Pomona, California. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Color Pencil Sketch 10 1/8 inches x 9 7/8 inches

 

Library Superintendent's Residence," 1928
F3274:292
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

View of the library in the superintendent's residence, Pacific State Hospital, Pomona, California. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Color Pencil Sketch
10 1/8" x 9 7/8"


Stockton State Hospital, Stockton, California. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler. Ink Sketch. 10 1/4 inches x 14 3/4 inches

 

Physicians' Residence," 1928
F3274:306
California State Archives
Sacramento, California

Stockton State Hospital, Stockton, California. Designed and drawn by Alfred Eichler.
Ink Sketch
10 1/4" x 14 3/4"





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