Almost every development of modern homes faces the eventual challenge of keeping its architectural integrity. But as Mid-Century Modernism wins more fans, residents are banning together to save their neighborhoods’ unique look and character.
Since Modernism is a subtle style, it is easily compromised: Adding a carriage style outdoor light fixture in lieu of an original hour-glass one, or tearing down artistic block to erect an adobe wall can easily change a home or neighborhood’s look.
In an Eichler network story by Dave Weinstein, Streetscape Smarts, he notes that, “The other major challenge to preserving modern neighborhoods is their age. Many landmarking laws only kick in if a building is at least 50.”
Plans are underway for the 10th Anniversary of the “Great Alexander Weekend” in Palm Springs, March 26-27, 2011. The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (www.pspreservationfoundation.org ) is planning a full weekend of home tours, seminars, cocktail receptions and special tributes to one of Palm Springs’ most influential and innovative home builders.
The Great Alexander Weekends and PSPF’s tribute book, When Mod Went Mass, have garnered significant awareness of the Alexander-built tract homes by architect William Krisel, and helped leverage even more importance to the genre of Mid-Century Modern homes, commercial and public buildings which are prevalent throughout Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.
From as early as the 1920s and through the 1970s, an impressive roster of talented architects have been captivated by Palm Springs: R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, and Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son); young Swiss architect Albert Frey whose work profoundly influenced desert architecture; and regional modernists William F. Cody, Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams and Krisel. Continue reading “All About Alexander Homes”
We don’t have a Case-Shiller Home Price Index for our area, so we make do with what we have. We can’t simply track prices say above $1 Million, because that is a changing population – a house that sold for $1.5 M a couple of years ago may have sold recently for $950,000, and we would lose that change based on a price limit alone. As a substitute, I use homes over 4,000 square feet in size. The vast majority of these homes sell for above $1 Million. I chose only 4 cities, as they are of similar age and have many similar homes. The graph shows a growing number of sales. The average sales price was around $1.8M for the first three months this year, but dropped to around $1.4M in April. As prices drop, sales increase. – Wayne Longman
You can spend a leisurely morning shopping up and down El Paseo, the Deserts own Rodeo Drive. On El Paseo, you can shop in The Gardens, an upscale shopping and dining treat. You’ll find Sullivan’s Steak House (great for martinis), Pacifica, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tommy Bahamas, Ralph Lauren, Veneto, Williams & Sonoma, and more. Tiffany’s is across the street from the locally-owned Jeweler, Frascas. Luis Vuitton is going to be open by end of the year. There are high-end doggie boutiques, pastry shops, Italian markets and specialty stores and more restaurants.
We just listed this historically significant “Cody” Mid-Century Modern in Rancho Mirage. This timeless, captivating Cody mid-century modern has been thoroughly updated without loss of its original style and integrity. The angular walls and roofline; open floor plan with generous amounts of glass, are in his classic style. Although believed to be by William F Cody, this has not been confirmed, but the City has designated this home as historically significant. Wonderful news for golfers the new owners are eligible for nomination for membership in Thunderbird Country Club!
Well located in central Rancho Mirage, on an eye-catching, private (approx.) 1/3 acre desert-landscaped corner lot, it has two solid steel gates that open to the circular driveway with a large parking area and double garage. Stonework (Palm Springs Gold) on the house looks the same as that Cody used on his awarding winning Del Marcos Hotel in Palm Springs.
Visitors are greeted with panoramic view of the pool and patio through eight glass panels. To your right is the dining area with patio access, and the kitchen, which has been completely renovated with Caesarstone Quartz countertops, hardwood maple cabinets and new appliances including a Bosch dishwasher. Find cork flooring in these areas, while the rest of the house boasts laminate wood floors, except for the bathrooms. The kitchen has direct access to the garage and laundry area.
The airy living room has the same glowing stonework surrounding the fireplace as found on the front of the house. South facing, it opens to the pool and patio, as do the first master and the third bedroom with a large closet, which has been opened for use as a den. The living room has double sliders that extend this area to the outdoors.
All the bathrooms have been updated. There is salt and pepper terrazzo for the floor and sunken tub in the first master, and Italian tile in the second master- and third bathrooms. The well-separated second master suite has a walk-in shower and private patio.
A cool-deck patio surrounds the 16 x 32 swimming pool with a 10 deep diving end, a fountain, and overlooks attractive desert landscaping with palms, mature cacti and fruit trees. Shade is provided by overhangs and retractable awnings.
All the windows and sliders have been replaced by Low-E double-paned glass with invisible V-Kool film, and most have Mecho mesh window shades. The original 2 x 6 construction has other updates that include two tank-less water heaters, dual-zone air conditioning, newer pool equipment and crushed stone roof.
It shares the same block as the famed Kenaston Residence, used by many Hollywood stars. An outstanding home at a very reasonable price.
When it comes to mid-century modern architecture, there’s no better place than Palm Springs to view some of the very best homes ever built in this iconic style. Mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs have, in fact, become a significant tourist draw in recent years, attracting just as much attention as the city’s famed resorts, golf courses and spectacular natural setting.
Due to its extensive and well-preserved collection of mid-century modern homes, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the city to its prestigious annual list of “America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2006. “Palm Springs,” said the Trust’s president, Richard More, “is not a city of architectural re-creations or approximations of previous eras. Instead, it is a remarkably intact and authentic expression of its architectural heritage.”
Mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs were built by many of the movement’s most renowned names – Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, William F. Cody, John Lautner, Donald Wexler, and the builders/developers George and Robert Alexander, among others. What is arguably the most famous piece of residential real estate in the city, the Neutra-designed Kaufmann Desert House, is a premier example of the streamlined, light and airy designs that are characteristic of mid-century modern architecture.