Historically Significant “Cody” Mid-Century Modern

71388 Country Club Dr in Rancho Mirage

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All the windows and sliders have been replaced by Low-E double-paned glass with invisible V-Kool film, and most have Mecho mesh window shades.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.

Ralph  Haverkate

Mid-Century Modern Homes


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.

Wexler Weekend


Last night we went to Palm Springs to see the great Film “Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler” at Camelot Theatres. A 67-minute film produced by Design Onscreen followed by a brief Q&A with Wexler tribute journal author Patrick McGrew and architect Doug Hudson.


A clip from the documentary “Journeyman Architect: The Life and Work of Donald Wexler” released by Design OnScreen. The mission of Design Onscreen is to document and disseminate in some form of “film media” the work of significant designers and contemporary issues in design.


The Wexler Weekend House Tour is one of the best house tour values ever offered in Palm Springs. Highlights include Wexler tract homes in El Rancho Vista Estates, Wexler’s own Palm Springs home and Wexler-designed celebrity homes. The house tour will include 14 (yes 14!) houses ranging from tract homes to custom residences to spectacular celebrity homes. Architect Don Wexler’s original Palm Springs home is also included on the tour. The tour ends with stops at two rarely seen celebrity homes. The Wexler House Tour is a “must” event for all lovers of great residential architecture. Don’t miss it . click here for tickets: http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/save_date.html


Listed in Vista Las Palmas Palm Springs

Authentic and architecturally significant 1957 Mid-Century Modern Alexander “Executive”, located in the heart of “Vista Las Palmas” – a sanctuary for Modernism and a premier Million dollar neighborhood also called the “Beverly Hills” of Palm Springs.


Vista Las Palmas embodies Mid-Century Modern design, much sought after by style-conscious buyers who are also seeking the desert lifestyle close to downtown. Most of these homes were built by Alexander and designed by famous modernist architect William Krisel.  Many have been restored or modernized, demanding higher prices.

You will find it extremely well maintained with post and beam construction on a large corner lot, high exposed vaulted beam ceilings and wide expanses of glass and clerestory windows; in near-original condition.  Also discover a circular driveway with an original 50’s carport, low maintenance landscaping and a very private pool.

The generously sized living room is dominated by the original natural rock fireplace. It and the dining area have gallery-size walls for your largest pieces of art. The extensive use of glass throughout the house provides a natural light for your art and views of the pool and mountains.

The master bedroom suite, overlooking the pool, contains a wet bar, a dressing area with teak cabinetry, and direct access to a large den, office, exercise room or artist’s studio.  The two guest bedrooms are spacious and have direct mountain views. All the baths have retained their original tile, countertops and sinks.

The large kitchen with a large pantry still has the Formica countertops and vintage appliances next to the maid’s quarters and laundry. The roof was redone in 2008 and the plumbing replaced with copper.  The current owners have been in possession of this home since 1978.

Influence on of REO sales on MCM

We recently did our Business Plan to Sell a 3 bedroom Mid-Century Modern for a client in Rancho Mirage. Naturally, part of that is to look at recent sales activity. Here’s what we found;


Each bar shows how many homes were sold in that month. This supports our conclusion that sales are increasing, even if prices aren’t . So we looked at the next layer of the onion, and found things aren’t quite so good. 12 of the 17 sales this year in this group were distressed sales (bank-owned or REO, and short sales).


Still, non-REO sales are increasing. Furthermore, there is only 1 Active short-sale property in this group on the market, as of the date of this writing, so regular sales have less competition at the moment. Not shown here is a detectable trend that distressed sale prices are slightly increasing.

We might conclude that REO sales have drawn Buyers back in to the market, and this is good for all homeowners. Things are still tough though and you will need good marketing to sell your home.

All About Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage

Playground of the Rich and Famous

Thunderbird Heights is a gated hillside just across from Thunderbird Country Club. The neighborhood, established in the 1950’s, offers a diverse mix of classic Mid-Century Modern homes, remodeled classics, and new construction, most of which were built in the sixties and seventies.

Centrally located in Rancho Mirage makes Thunderbird Heights a very desirable neighborhood. Rancho Mirage’s restaurant row is just down the road, and the popular River shopping dining and entertainment complex is nearby. Most homes have panoramic valley and desert views with large lots and living quarters.

A convenient tunnel under Highway 111 directly connects residents with the Thunderbird Country Club. Thunderbird Country Club offers a par-71 classic course.  Although one of the oldest courses in the desert (remodeled in 1987), it is still THE place to be for the rich & famous, including celebrities. Continue reading “All About Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage”

Vista Las Palmas the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Palm Springs

This neighborhood was once the tramping ground of the “Rat Pack”, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., and was known as the Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.  In the 1950’s Los Angeles celebrities used Vista Las Palmas as their desert retreat.  Vista Las Palmas is a quiet neighborhood west and within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs.  Situated by the San Jacinto Mountains it is cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.

Architect William Krisel is responsible for the design of most of the Alexander homes.  Alexander Construction, owned by George and Bob Alexander built more than 2000 homes in the Palm Springs area, responding to the growing demand for Modern Architecture.  Vista Las Palmas was largely developed by them during the 1950’s & 1960’s.

The original Alexander homes were $19,000, had no insulation and were built on a concrete slab.  Alexander construction characteristics are clerestory windows, post & beam construction, center halls and large lots.  This architecture became known as Southern California Modern, with roof styles that include butterfly roofs low-gabled roofs and folded plate roofs. You can also find double A-frame homes called “Swiss Misses”, in Vista Las Palmas, designed by Charles Dubois.

Vista Las Palmas embodies the Mid-Century Modern taste for the discriminating homeowner seeking the desert lifestyle of the desert close to downtown. Most of the homes were built by Alexander, and many have been restored or modernized with rapidly increasing prices.

Robert (Bob) Alexander & his wife, Helene, lived in Vista Las Palmas at 1350 Ladera.  It was “The Home of Tomorrow” featured over eight-pages the September 1992 Look Magazine. The $300,000 cost set a new standard in Southern California.  Elvis & Priscilla Presley used it in 1968 for their honeymoon.

In 1965, George & Robert Alexander and their wives died in a plane crash northwest of Indio.  Their work lives on in Vista Las Palmas.

All About Tamarisk Rancho in Rancho Mirage

Tamarisk Rancho is a premium neighborhood located in the heart of suburban Rancho Mirage adjacent to the Tamarisk Country Club. There are two clusters of 16 Mid-Century Modern homes enclosing  groomed, park-like green belts with tranquil views of mature fruit trees and date palms that may predate the development.  The 45-foot swimming pool at the center of this private oasis in the South cluster was advertised in 1958 as “one of the finest in Palm Springs.”  It was the scene of al fresco cocktail parties hosted by the likes of Barbara Sinatra, Groucho Marx and other Hollywood talent from in front and behind the camera.

Tamarisk Rancho is architecturally significant as a well designed and intact example of a property type apparently unique to Rancho Mirage and the Coachella Valley area. These are planned unit developments of privately owned single-family residences sharing grounds and a swimming pool (a Cooperative).

The three basic roof configurations are flat, low-pitched front gabled, or butterfly. The exteriors are stucco, natural rock, board and batten. Each house is approximately 1,900 square feet plus a garage, in a 3 bedrooms/3 bathroom floor plan, or 2 bedrooms plus den and 2 bathrooms. Continue reading “All About Tamarisk Rancho in Rancho Mirage”



wexlerweekendRecognizing the life and work of Mid-Century Modern architect Donald Wexler. The weekend’s events will include a film screening, house tours and an evening cocktail party at an exciting location in Palm Springs.