'Honeymoon Hideaway' Fate

Famous Alexander desert home finally has new owner after four years of price slashes
Fridays on the Homefront
Because of its significant ties to mid-century modern history, the 'Honeymoon Hideaway' above actually has a bigger claim to Palm Springs fame than being leased to newlyweds Elvis and Priscilla Presley in 1967. Surprisingly, this house floundered on the market for years before its recent sale. House photos courtesy Scott Histed

Attention 'desert modern' fans: Elvis has left the building…again. Finally.

Escrow closed this week on the belated sale of a home that actually has a bigger claim to Palm Springs fame than being leased for a year by newlyweds Elvis and Priscilla Presley, but for tourist purposes was dubbed the 'Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway.'

"The Elvis thing means nothing to today's buyer," said realtor Scott Histed bluntly. The realtor listed the famous house once again in early December for the latest entry in its parade of price adjustments, this time from $2.9 down to $2.5 million. Histed reports it has sold—for $2.6 million cash.

Fridays on the Homefront
Inside the living room today.

Histed said the seller, identified by Dwell.com as Leonard Lewis, is based on the East Coast. The property has undergone numerous price cuts since it was listed for a hefty $9.5 million in 2014. The realtor has represented the home "off and on" the last three years, including its listing for $3.2 million in November 2019.

"They were using it for Elvis tours, so it was very difficult to sell," he explained of the protracted market history on 1350 Ladera Circle in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood of southern Palm Springs. He said that once the tour schedule was cut back, the house sold for "significantly" above the $2.5M ask.

Vista Las Palmas, like its nearby predecessor Las Palmas, was primarily built by Alexander Construction Company and designed by Palmer & Krisel, the architectural firm of Dan Palmer and William Krisel. This 5,000-square foot house, built in 1962, was a rare custom home design by the architects, done especially for Robert and Helene Alexander.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Elvis and Priscilla at their 'honeymoon hideaway,' 1967.
 

The Alexanders were living in it when they died in a plane crash along with the company's other principals, George (father of Robert) and wife Mildred Alexander, in November 1965. So ended the most prominent mid-century modern development firm in the desert's history. The Presleys may have been the next residents, living in the home from 1966 until a short while after their May 1967 honeymoon there.