Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Most Copied Architects

Joseph Eichler

Joseph Eichler, born in 1900, wasn't technically an architect, but he had a massive influence on mid-20th century suburban development. During his heyday, his real estate development firm built more than 11,000 homes designed on the principles of modernist architecture, mostly in northern California. His work in the field of modernist architecture helped propel it to the forefront of the design world, and while some of the features prevalent in his homes aren't standard now, like floor-to-ceiling windows and an exposed post and beam design, some of his concepts did stick in a major way -- like open floor plans and the necessity of a master bath, a fixture in most homes of today.

The idea was to bring fancy-looking homes -- with stylish and luxurious features -- to the masses. (And Eichler really meant masses -- he'd sell his homes to buyers often discriminated against for their race or religion.) Nowadays, buying an Eichler is out of reach for the original target demographic, however. Some now sell for -- wait for it -- $2 million and more [source: Rafkin]. And they're as trendy looking now as they were when he built them. Jealous!