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Palm Springs’ 'Elvis Hideaway' is for sale— its design flashier than its dramatic history
Fridays On the Homefront
A Palm Springs MCM classic is back on the market—the Robert Alexander House aka the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway—after $2.6 mil has been slashed from its asking price. Photos: courtesy Eric Meeks
Fridays On the Homefront
Fridays On the Homefront

With a modernist estate whose three Palm Springs lots were next door to Marilyn's rental place, one would expect a certain amount of 'gawker' interest when it came on the market this month for $6.93 million.

Throw in the tale of Elvis and Priscilla escaping out the back door, topped off by a deadly plane crash that may have changed Palm Springs forever—well, a whole army of tabloids could develop interest in mid-century modern! At least this week.

Arguably Palm Springs' most famous mid-century modern residence, the Robert Alexander House—commonly referred to as 'The House of Tomorrow' and the 'Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway'—is now on the market.

"It's probably in the top two of recognizable houses in Palm Springs," said Eric Meeks, publicist for the listing at 1350 Ladera Circle, coupling it with the Bob Hope House, also for sale nearby. "For people who want the modernist part of Palm Springs, it's the crème de la crème."

The author of two guidebooks on Palm Springs, Meeks said the Alexander House deserves such elevated status in particular because it was actually built mid-century, in 1960. Besides the striking home, the estate includes a tennis court on one of two other buildable lots on the property. Its listing this month, 20 months after being listed at $9.5 million, represents a sizeable price cut—another thing it shares with the Hope House.

Alexander's father George Alexander was in some ways the Joe Eichler of the Coachella Valley, building modernist custom homes and 2,500 tract homes in the desert from 1956 to 1965. William Krisel, who was one of his main architects, got the job to design Robert and Helene Alexander's own home in one of the company's first subdivisions, Las Palmas.

A partner with Dan Palmer in Palmer & Krisel, Bill Krisel designed more than 30,000 Southern California homes in a 50-year career, and his papers are in the Getty Research Institute.

"The architect should be in charge of everything," Krisel told Dwell magazine in 2009. "To me, the indoors and outdoors are not separate. I never practiced landscape architecture as a separate thing; I only did it on my own projects—just as a picked the textures and colors of materials, designed the furniture and light fixtures, and everything else that the architect used to do."