Iconic Miles Bates house in Palm Desert in Danger of Destruction

Miles Bates House in Palm Desert

Miles Bates House in Palm Desert

City of Palm Desert May Allow Destruction of an Iconic Walter S White

Merilee Colton of the Palm Desert Historical Society advised us that the Walter S White wave-roof home built for Miles Bates in 1954-55, on Santa Rosa Way in Palm Desert is in danger of demolition. The City of Palm Desert, in preparation of disposing of its ownership has had it appraised at a value not much more that its land. The condition of this home is reportedly poor, but restorable. The concern is that the land will be sold without regard to the building and it will be torn down for new construction.

We contacted Professor Volker M. Welter, who has published White’s work, of UC Santa Barbara that holds his archive.  Professor Welter gave a presentation on White and his work at Modernism Week, 2016

Here are excerpts from his reply to Ms. Colton, also addressed to us.  Continue reading “Iconic Miles Bates house in Palm Desert in Danger of Destruction”

The Desert Sales Season

The Mid-Century & Modern Sales Season Last All Year Long

We have entered our Desert Spring, complete with one day of heavy rain showers that washed all the Summer dust away. So we’re facing a clean start to the season! This weather reminds us of why we live here and we won’t forget it for at least another eight months.

Our Summer Mid-Century & Modern Activity

This chart shows that although the number of for sale homes in the noted cities drops in the mid-summer heat, there are still buyers then who put in accepted offers (the green dotted line).  That doesn’t drop off until the end of the year.  However, at that time new properties are coming on the market.


As proof, this superb Palm Desert Modern in the Mid-Century Style by Architect Jay Reynolds AIA, was listed in September and closed in October. It was literally a “hot deal”.

Crestview in Palm Desert
Modern in the Desert

So keep your eyes on the desert market all year long.


Five Things to Know Before Selling or Buying a Mid-Century Modern Home

1. Understand the Market

Where has it been and where does it look like it is going. What’s happening right now? Past trends shaped the value of your home, and present trends will affect its sale. Is the market different for your MCM home than others? Usually the answer is “Yes”.

2. Get the Right Pricing

Use specialists in Mid-Century Modern who know what comparables to use and how to compare features for more accurate price adjustments to determine the “market value” of your MCM. A specialist who is familiar with MCM will also help the Buyer’s Appraiser find the right “comps”. Which can be very important in order to stay in “Escrow” once you have a buyer. Continue reading “Five Things to Know Before Selling or Buying a Mid-Century Modern Home”

Two Local Mid-Century Modern listings featured in the latest “Los Angeles Times Hot Property List” for Celebrity & Luxury homes under $1 million!

Mid-Century Modern Market Trends

Good Architecture markets itself when it gets seen, and the more it is seen, the more marketing it achieves. The trick is in getting it seen, and that means making it visible to the most people in the most ways.

The internet is the ideal tool for this with an almost global reach, but it has thousands of “channels” vying for eye-time.   Fortunately, it has “Integrators” in the form of search engines that tie similar things together. If a search engine finds something that is of higher interest to viewers, it will present that information with a higher rank in search results and to more people who are interested in it and will see it. Mission accomplished – almost. Continue reading “Two Local Mid-Century Modern listings featured in the latest “Los Angeles Times Hot Property List” for Celebrity & Luxury homes under $1 million!”

Renovated Mid-Century Modern – What Does That Mean?

36421 Sandsu Rancho Mirage Remodel

If you are a Modernista looking at the good number of Mid-Century homes for sale in the Palm Springs area, you will frequently see these terms used in For Sale ad.

A quick search of our local MLS for MCM listings using the exact term “renovated” turns up about 30 listings, all in varying states of renovation.

For reference here is an example of a fully renovated Krisel.  Continue reading “Renovated Mid-Century Modern – What Does That Mean?”

The Lost Mid-Century Moderns in Palm Springs

73110 Grapevine in Palm Desert.  

We have many fine examples of this architectural genre that are “The Lost Mid-Century Moderns” because we can’t connect them with their architect.  These post and beam homes were designed for maximum light, view lines and contact with the desert. Take this home for example.

According to the County Tax Assessor record, it was built in 1957.  A knowledgeable visitor pointed out that the raked stucco exterior was often used by E. Stewart Williams, and the time frame was right. Continue reading “The Lost Mid-Century Moderns in Palm Springs”

Modernism Week 2016



With Modernism Week 2016 fast approaching, fans are looking for new places to visit. The City of Rancho Mirage is also a Modernism Week sponsor.

Mid-Century Modern In Tamarisk Rancho, Rancho Mirage
Mid-Century Modern In Tamarisk Rancho, Rancho Mirage – Photo by Jim Riche

Rancho Mirage became a hub of modernist architecture with the development in the mid 1950s of Thunderbird and Tamarisk Country Clubs. Both became the focus of architectural innovation. As the rich and famous flocked further east, so their architects came with them: Cody, Krisel, Williams, Wexler, Lapham, Welton Becket, Pereira, and more designed houses here, while smaller condominium communities were also developed. Continue reading “Modernism Week 2016”

2016 Palm Springs Modernism Week

Modernism Week 2016

2016 Palm Springs Modernism Week is Almost Here! Plan Your Week

If you plan to attend, buy your tickets soon, as the events are being sold out as we speak – about forty as this being typed.

Tickets remain for the popular Frey House II tours that are about half sold out and there is one remaining Modernism Week Signature Home tour.

There are a number of theme Parties left, which may be a good place to start, or with Neighborhood Home Tours where new neighborhoods are to be seen in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells.

More exclusive home tours may include a reception: Abernathy Residence, Raymond Lowry House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Frank Sinatra Estate, and The Loewe Estate.

Be sure to check out the Lectures, thirty-nine alone at the Annenberg Theater, some by famous names, on topics ranging from architects to architecture, art, fashion, design and even Cuba.  All look interesting and some are very unique. There are also daily lectures at the MW Camp. Some you will not want to miss.

Check out unique events such as an evening at Hotel Lautner, a retro Pinball Tournament and Student Modernism Projects, which is free, and many more.

If you plan to spend a day or more at MW, you should spend a few hours digging into the Whole MW Program. There is way too much for any one person to see.

If you use don’t mind experimenting, and understand what this is, we have created a Calendar File that will place MW events on your personal calendar. It includes only those events not fully booked at it’s creation.

Click this file to download it:  MW 2016 Events.ics

It will load into your calendar automatically. Go to February.  You will need to view each day by itself to see all the events.  Click each one to get more detail and link to the event and buy ticket pages


Tamarisk Rancho in Rancho Mirage has Significant Mid-Century Modern Architecture

70470 Tamarisk Ln Tamarisk Rancho, Rancho Mirage

Located next to Tamarisk Country Club you will find a well-desired community, Tamarisk Rancho, which is divided into two separate parts featuring each 16 Mid-Century Modern homes.  The homes are built along grassy green belts with a 45 foot long pool in the center inviting for a swim or just to relax while admiring the beautiful views to many date palms and fruit trees giving it a feel of living in an oasis.  Tamarisk Rancho hosted many parties in the 50th attended by Barbara Sinatra, Groucho Marx and many other stars from Hollywood and was advertised back then as being one of the greatest places in the Palm Springs area. Continue reading “Tamarisk Rancho in Rancho Mirage has Significant Mid-Century Modern Architecture”

Great Mid-Century Modern Areas in the Palm Springs Valley Part II

Sandpiper Palm Desert
Sandpiper Palm Desert


Sandpiper has the distinction of being the oldest residential development in Palm Desert. Architect William Krisel designed Sandpiper in the 1960’s. The homes are Mid-Century Modern in design. His inspiration came from Frank Lloyd Wright. He offered brightly lit homes that were well designed along with lovely landscaping and quiet private views. The whole property has 18 “pods.” Each has its own lovely swimming pool and there are 6 buildings within the “pod” and each contains two one-level homes. Sandpiper is a convenient walk or stroll to groceries, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping on El Paseo Drive

Sandpiper home prices range from $250,000 to $500,000+.


Continue reading “Great Mid-Century Modern Areas in the Palm Springs Valley Part II”