Palm Springs Estate Homes in the sunny and ruggedly beautiful Coachella Valley are well known, much photographed, and much written about. Palm Springs Estate Homes are found in relatively few neighbourhoods, the highest concentrations being in Old Las Palmas, Vista Las Palmas, The Movie Colony and Southridge, with lesser numbers in Little Tuscany and The Mesa. Palm Springs Estate Homes are central to the history of the region itself, with many steeped in legends of the glamorous stars that once lived and played in them. These luxury homes have taken on new importance today in the social history of Palm Springs. Many have been preserved and, in most cases, modernized, making them very desirable in today’s Palm Springs real estate market.
Many of the earlier Palm Springs Estate Homes were built in Old Las Palmas in the 1920’s and 1930’s for celebrated personalities of Hollywood’s Golden Age. These luxury homes are set on large estate sized lots and are built in a style heavily influenced by the Spanish or Tuscan architectural tradition. They are easily identified by their low pitched, red tiled roofs, stucco walls, arched doorways and loggias. Old Las Palmas estates are also characterized by an abundance of palm trees; many are secluded behind walls of towering green hedges and flowering bougainvillea. The Spanish style homes in Old Las Palmas, along with those in other neighbourhoods, are still among the most sought after properties for sale in Palm Springs.
Estate Homes in Palm Springs
By the 1950’s, influenced by emerging modern trends in Europe, architects began designing homes for the desert in a style which today is known as Mid-Century Modern or Desert Modernism. These homes have entire walls of glass, wide eaves, and open beam ceilings; it’s a design that invites seamless indoor/outdoor living and takes full advantage of the region’s wonderful climate and surrounding desert landscape. Pools are a given. Many of the largest of these homes were built in the newer neighbourhood of Vista Las Palmas by the Alexander Construction Company. Lots here tend to be more modest in size. Examples of estate homes of this period include the Elvis “Honeymoon Hideaway” house, originally built by Robert Alexander for his own residence, and also the homes for Marilyn Monroe, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and Peter Lawford.
In addition to the “Alexanders”, there are notable examples of custom built Palm Springs Estate Homes such as the Dinah Shore tennis estate, designed by Donald Wexler, and the Kauffman house, by Richard Neutra.
Palm Springs Estate Homes in other areas include Frank Sinatra’s first Palm Springs home located in The Movie Colony, and Alan Hamel and Suzanne Somers’ French inspired villa in The Mesa. In south Palm Springs up in Southridge is a small gated private community, built along a mountain ridge. The homes here include John Lautner’s masterpiece, the Elrod House, used in the James Bond film, Diamonds are Forever, the Bob and Dolores Hope estate with a 30,000 sq.ft. home, the William Holden estate with its infinity pool, and the Steve McQueen estate. Occasionally a home in one of these neighbourhoods comes on the market.
If you prefer more recently built estate homes, many are to be found in exclusive Palm Springs Active Adult Communities outside of Palm Springs proper in Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta.
People are drawn to Palm Springs not only for the great sunny weather but also the cachet of the glamorous life style lived here then and now. Intrigued by the possibilities? For more information on exclusive Palm Springs Estate Homes, contact Dick Sakowicz. He’ll be pleased to show you any of these homes.