Desert Delights - Palm Springs - Page 4

Stunning sights and rich legacy - climb aboard our grand tour of the best of Palm Springs modern

Mapping Out Your Own PS Tour

There is much more to be seen in Palm Springs and vicinity than can be covered in one article. Palm Springs has many neighborhoods filled with Alexanders and other modern tract homes. 'Down valley' towns, including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indio, and La Quinta, contain modern homes, though most hide in gated communities. Desert Hot Springs, north of Palm Springs, is best appreciated for its refurbished retro motels.

North End of Palm Springs:

  • Tramway Gas Station visitor center, North Palm Canyon Drive at Tramway Road.
  • Donald Wexler's seven Alexander steel houses can be found on Sunnyview Drive and Molino Road, half a mile from the Tramway Gas Station.
  • Racquet Club Road Estates, an Alexander neighborhood, is a few blocks south, on both sides of Raquet Club Road between Indian Canyon Drive and Caballeros Drive.
  • Richard Neutra's Miller house can be spotted nearby, behind a fence at 2311 North Indian Canyon Drive.
  • A half mile to the southwest takes you to Little Tuscany Estates, a boulder-strewn edge of the mountain that features Stew Williams' Edris house (1030 W. Cielo Dr.) and Craig Ellwood's Palevsky house (1021 W. Cielo). Many other fine modern homes can be spotted in this neighborhood, including the iconic Kauffman house by Neutra (476 Vista Chino).
  • Las Palmas Estates, in lower lying land to the south, includes many wonderful Alexanders, including the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway on Ladera Circle.
  • On your way to downtown, swing by the Stew Williams' Sinatra house (1148 Alejo). If the gate is open you'll get a peek.

Downtown Palm Springs:

  • The tower and original shops of the Oasis Hotel can be spotted on the west side of Palm Canyon Drive near Tahquitz Canyon Drive.
  • Palm Springs Tennis Club, by Paul Williams and Quincy Jones, has been remodeled but is worth visiting, at 701 West Baristo Road, west of downtown.
  • The nearby Palm Springs Art Museum by Stew Williams is a must-see. 101 Museum Drive.
  • Albert Frey house. The museum owns the second house Frey built for himself but, according to the terms of his will, it is open to scholars only. Get a look from the end of Arenas Road.

Civic Center:

  • The former Police building (3111 East Tahquitz Canyon), by John Porter Clark and Albert Frey, and City Hall, by a consortium led by Williams, are across from the airport.
  • Not far away are two wonderful interiors by William Cody, the Palm Springs Library, 300 South Sunrise Way, and St. Theresa's Catholic Church, 2800 East. Ramon Road.


city hall
Palm Springs City Hall.


  • The Streamline Moderne Ship of the Desert, on Camino Monte, is a landmark that can be spotted from several streets, including Liliana Drive.
  • Lautner's flying saucer-like house for Bob Hope can only be viewed from a distance. Look to the hills from East Palm Canyon Drive (Highway 111) where it crosses Cherokee.
  • The first Alexander neighborhood, Twin Palms Estates, can be found behind the Alexander's Ocotillo Lodge, at East Palm Canyon and Arquilla Road.
  • Don't miss Green Fairway Estates, a tract designed by Don Wexler and built by the Alexanders, with some of the finest stone walls and wackiest facades in town, on Lakeside Drive and vicinity in the Tahquitz Creek Gold Resort.
  • Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill is a few miles south, 69934 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. But architect Ken Kellogg's restaurant, which architectural historian Tony Merchell sees as "some kind of prehistoric crustacean," is not to be missed.

Modern Lodging:

Palm Springs has many architecturally distinctive, or at least period, motels, with furnishings that range from thrift store modern to museum pieces. Many can be found along East Palm Canyon Drive just south of downtown, including the tiki-themed Caliente Tropics Resort (411 E. Palm Canyon Dr., 760-327-1391).

Others include: