Yesterday I took an amazing architecture tour of Palm Springs, and I suspect I only scratched the surface. If you love architecture and come to Palm Springs, you should most certainly take this 3-hr tour. It also has an accompanying map and app.
This post is going to be about architecture. As was my last one. I promise I’ll keep a variety of posts coming, I just can’t help but feel VERY excited about the awesome buildings I’ve seen out here.
Also, there will be at least one more PS architecture post coming, so if you liked this one, keep an eye out.
Starting off, here’s a collection of homes located in a neighborhood just off N Palm Canyon, both in the Little Tuscany neighborhood or close by. I wish I’d had paper and a pen with me during the tour to take down some notes, but I will do my very best to recount the important stuff. There’s didn’t appear to be a ton of historically significant houses in this area, to my recollection, but there was a lot of generally great stuff.
The Edris House – 1954
In Little Tuscany, this house was built for William and Marjorie Edris, by E. Stewart Williams, who was best known at that time for having designed and built a home for the Sinatras. When commissioned for the project, Williams was given complete creative freedom and NO BUDGET. He was a friend of the couple, and so thoughtful in his design for them that he measured their clothing to see what size the closet would need to be.
Vista Las Palmas and the Alexander Homes
This neighborhood is mainly comprised by “Alexanders” – tract houses developed by father and son-founded company Alexander Construction. They came to Palm Springs in 1955 from Los Angeles. Their first project in Palm Springs was the Ocotillo Lodge in 1956, designed by designed by Dan Palmer and William Krisel. Next, they built 39 modest homes in the Twin Palms neighborhood. With some gained notoriety, they expanded into designing slightly most expensive homes for the Vista Las Palmas area (with Palmer and Krisel) which became known for attracting major Hollywood celebrities of the time. These homes are often compared to Northern California Eichlers. They were really fun to see.
The Alexanders themselves lived in the neighborhood, in a home called the House of Tomorrow, until the entire family tragically died in a plane crash. It isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I can appreciate its significance.
Alexander Steel Houses by Wexler
In 1962, affordable steel houses, designed for desert living by Donald Wexler and Ric Harrison, were made available on the outskirts of the Racquet Club Estates neighborhood. Priced between $13-17k, they were limited in number and never really became popular. In fact, the homes fell into complete disrepair in the seventies/eighties. However, they were rediscovered in the nineties, and were later granted Class 1 Historic Site status. They appear to be very lovingly tended to now.
Kaufmann Desert House
Designed by iconic Richard Neutra in 1946-47 for Edgar J. Kaufmann and his family, this incredible house was a real beauty. This was a second commission for Kaufman – the first was Fallingwater. This home was intended to be a summer house for Kaufmann and his family – an escape from the harsh northeast. There’s a lot of important background and history to this house, so I’ll just recommend checking all that out here. It was a stunning house to view – if only from the outside. Some day I would love to tour it.
And, that’s it for today! Hope you enjoyed the gorgeous homes and landscapes I had the pleasure of exploring yesterday!