Touring spectacular homes in Palm Springs - Part 1
Top 3 homes to view
Palm Springs is an architecture lover’s dream. There are many beautiful and important homes that are amazing structurally, plus there’s plenty of houses owned by Hollywood celebrities scattered throughout the city too.
They’re easy to see; you can take a self-guided driving (or cycling) tour of them on your own, or get an expert guide.
Robert Imber runs the popular Palm Springs Modern Tours, and he was integral in the creation of the Palm Springs Modern app, which provides maps, photos, and descriptions of the best homes to see (paper copies are also available at the Palm Springs Visitors Centre, itself a beacon of modernist architecture as a former Albert Frey designed gas station). I asked him what some of his favorite buildings in the city are.
#1: Kaufmann House (photo at top)
This famous home is an architectural stunner, located at 470 W. Vista Chino. Designed by Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra, it’s a designated historic site in Palm Springs. With its clean lines and gorgeous boulder-strewn front yard it’s a great first stop on your tour.
While you can’t go inside, or anywhere on the property, since it’s a private home, if you get the app (available for download on the App Store or Google Play; search “Palm Springs Modern: Mid-Century Architecture Tours”), you’ll be treated to a beautiful array of interior photos you CAN gawk at. According to Robert, no visit to Palm Springs is complete without seeing this house, and I can’t disagree; it’s absolutely beautiful.
#2: Edris House (photo at right)
Not far away is Edris house, also a historic home. Located at 1030 W. Cielo Dr, this house also blends seamlessly into its rocky, dry desert environment. Featuring gorgeous natural stone and sweeping roof lines that many Palm Springs modernist homes are known for, this house is a feast for the eyes.
#3: The Ship of the Desert (photo below)
Robert Imber calls this “one of the most notable homes” in Palm Springs. Designed by architects Wilson and Webster, the 1936 house is “imposing and streamlined...nautical modern, with many ship-like components such as a gangplank entrance stairwell; prow front; porthole window.” The home can easily be viewed from the street in the Mesa neighborhood, at 1995 S. Camino Monte.
There are so many more amazing homes to see in Palm Springs, plus numerous public buildings that are both stunning and historic. We’ll cover some more in the coming weeks, so check back on the blog. Or, if you’re visiting Palm Springs, consider taking Robert’s tour. They run twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm and take about 3 hours.
The tours start at the Visitors Center, taking you on a narrated viewing of neighborhoods, homes, and buildings some locals don't even know exist.
Photo credits: Kaufmann House courtesy Robert Imber, Edris House courtesy edrishouse.com, Ship of the Desert courtesy MrNewIt.com