WILLIAM (BILL) KRISEL, AIA (1924-2017)
It's pronounced cry-zul!
Krisel was born in Shanghai, China to parents who worked for the US State Department. He moved with his American parents to Beverly Hills CA in 1937 and graduated from Beverly Hills HS. After serving in WWII, he graduated with honors in 1949 from the University of Southern California in Architecture. He worked for architects Paul Lazslo and Victor Gruen and became an associate in Dan Saxon Palmer's (aka Dan Weissinger's) architectural office. In 1950 Krisel was made partner in what became the Palmer and Krisel firm, with offices in Schindler's Falk Apartments. They designed more than 30,000 homes throughout California.
Palmer and Krisel helped to nearly double the size of Palm Springs by building 2,500 tract homes, many of which still exist. Krisel is best known for Modernist developments created for the Alexander Company, one of the first Modernist builders in the US. Beginning in 1953 in Palm Springs, Krisel designed large communities in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Florida and Arizona. By 1957 he was working for 7 of the 10 largest home builders in the country. Krisel was a licensed landscape architect since 1954. Palmer and Krisel split around 1966. In 1969, Krisel formed a new partnership with Abraham Shapiro which lasted until 1979, after which Krisel practiced solo. Getty Research Institute houses the Krisel archives. Research by Michael Locke and Catherine Westergaard Cramer.
2013 video by Robert Miller
Subdivisions: Armstrong Park * Bartley Grove Estates * Bermuda Woods * Cabrillo Village * Carriage Estates * Canyon View * Claremont Canyon Estates * College Glen Estates * Corbin Palms * Corval Estates * East Whittier * Enchanted Homes/Sunmor * Foremost Park * Fremont Gardens * Garden Grove East * Garden Grove North * Kings Point * Linda Vista Estates * Living Conditioned * Lom Park * Louise Manor * Lurline * Marlborough Park * Midland Park Estates * Modern Gables * North Reseda * Northridge West * Pacifica Housing * Palm Gables * Parkwood Covina * Parkwood Estates * Parkwood La Mirada * Point Loma Estates * Racquet Club * Sandpiper * Southwest Whittier * Tampa Homes * Tierra del Cerro * Twin Palms * University City * Valley of the Sun * Van Owen / University Estates * Vista Las Palmas * Vista Park * Woodview Homes
1946 - The Lionel Krisel House I, Rancho Santa Fe CA. Lionel was Krisel's older brother. Unbuilt.
1949 - The Hersh House, Brentwood area, Los Angeles CA. Unsure if built.
1950 - The Aldophe Stelzer House, Brentwood, Los Angeles CA. Krisel's first butterfly roof design. Destroyed in 1990 to make way for a Tudor. Location unknown. Do you know where it was?
Around 1950 - The La Vine House, Los Angeles CA. Unsure if built.
1951 - The Florence Hawkins Residence, near Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Designed with Lindsay. Interior design by Can Keppen-Green. Featured in the Los Angeles Times, 4/26/1953.
1951 - The Gina Janns House, 8688 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles CA. Sold in 1957 to actress Martha Hyer, top photo. The house was robbed in 1959. Owned by Richard and Lauren Donner since at least 1995.
1951 - The Albert Maslon House, aka Maslon-Engleman House, 111 North Glenroy Avenue, Westwood CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. Built by the owner. Sold to Howard Engleman. Photos by Michael Locke.
1951 - The Rothberg House, Sherman Oaks CA. Unsure if built.
1951 - The Lindsay House, Brentwood CA. Unsure if built.
1952 - The Baron House, Westwood CA. Unsure if built.
1952 - The Carroll House, Los Angeles CA. Unsure if built.
Around 1952 - The Morrill House, Bel Air CA. Unsure if built.
1953 - Encino Foothills housing tract, Encino CA. Status unknown. Developed by Dunas, Greene and Dunas.
1954 - The Ernie Leduc House, 20431 Napa Street, Winnetka CA. Deeded to Lovina Leduc. Sold for the first time in 2016 to Monica Haynes. Photos by Michael Locke.
1954 - Lurline Houses Housing tract, Winnetka CA. Developed by Dunas Greene and Swidler.
1954 - The Salzman House, location unknown.
1954 - Valwood Estates housing tract, Holt Avenue and Arroyno, Pomona CA. Six basic plans A-F. Above example is 2225 Concord Avenue.
1954 - The Katharine Hepburn Addition, location unknown. Krisel and Hepburn played tennis together at some of the private Palm Springs clubs. Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did have a home in Palm Springs at 776 Mission Road. It is possible that an addition was considered but never built. Needs verification.
1954 - The Palm Gardens Housing tract, Granada Hills CA. Developed by Murray Strauss and designed with Dan Palmer. Above example is 15655 Simonds Street.
1954 - Tract Houses, Penrod Corporation. Unbuilt.
1954 - The Signature House, Midwood Construction Company, Los Angeles CA. Built for the 1956 Los Angeles Home Show. Featured in House & Home, August 1956. Developed by J. H. Snyder. Photo by Julius Shulman.
1954 - 11811 Dale Street, Garden Grove CA. Part of the Midwood Signature Homes subdivision developed by J.H. Snyder. Photo by Michael Locke.
1954 - 11831 Dale Street, Garden Grove CA. Part of the Midwood Signature Homes subdivision developed by J.H. Snyder. Photo by Michael Locke.
1955 - The Van Owen Estates Housing tract, Arthur Weber developer, Winnetka CA. Commissioned 1952.
1955 - Allied Gardens, Hacienda Heights CA. Above example is 1702 Armington Avenue. Developed by Bollenbacker and Kelton.
1955 - Tract houses developed by Louis Lesser, Buena Park CA. Unsure if built.
1955 - Tract houses, developed by Howard Miller, Torrance CA. Unsure if built.
1955 - Parkside housing tract, Garden Grove CA. Unbuilt.
1955 - Midland Meadows housing tract, developed by Midland Properties, Fullerton CA. Above example is 502 West Houston.
1955 - Midland housing tract, developed by Midland Properties, La Mirada CA. Unsure if built.
1955 - The Barker House, no location. Assumed unbuilt.
1955 - The Skylar House, Hollywood CA. Assumed unbuilt.
1955 - The Stuart and Barbara Swidler House, 939 North Roscomare Road, Los Angeles CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. Built by Dunas, Greene & Dunn, Inc. Sold in 1966 to Frederic and Shirley Cohen. Sold in 2015 to Vivian Rothenstreich. Sold in 2016 to Alexandria Brunkhorst. Renovation by Brad Dunning. Top photo by Michael Locke; other photos by Brad Dunning.
1955 - The William Krisel House, 568 Tigertail Road, Los Angeles CA. Sold to Nancy Heller, a neighbor who had plans to restore it. But according to Heller "the house was infested with termites, there was mold everywhere...even if we had taken it down to the studs, we would have had to remove the studs." Krisel disagreed. "Baloney, the house wasn't in bad shape." Heller sold in 2015 to the Darya Family LLC who destroyed it and built a new house in 2016.
1955 - The Mel and Mary Grau House, 1420 Rising Glen Road, Los Angeles CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. Mel Grau (1919-2009) worked for Walt Disney on the productions of Pinocchio and Fantasia. After the war, he started his own Industrial and Architectural Color Design business for the tract-home-industry in Los Angeles. Sold. Photos by Michael Locke.
1956 - The Ronald Dunas House, 13211 Haney Place, Los Angeles CA. Built for a developer as his personal house. Commissioned 1955. Krisel also designed a kitchen/bath remodel in 1960. Photo by Michael Locke.
1956 - Encino Riviera tract houses, developed by Morton Greene Builders, Encino CA. Unbuilt.
1956 - Tract houses, developed by Cal-Frank Homes, Van Nuys CA. Unbuilt.
1956 - Tract houses, Cassell Investment Company, no location, unbuilt.
1956 - Devonshire Woods housing tract, Royal Hoes/Harlon Lee developer. Likely unbuilt.
1956 - The Kaplan House, Palm Springs CA. Status unknown.
1956 - The Richmond Heights housing tract, Hanford CA. Sierra Properties was the developer. Above example is 1000 East Myrtle Avenue.
1956 - The Albert Maslon House, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. Unbuilt. Commissioned 1954.
1956 - The Storybrook Village Housing Tract, North Hills CA. Developed by Adler and the Investment & Building Corporation. Above example: The A. Stevens Meyer house, 16340 Gledhill Street, sold in 2015 to Misty Montgomery and Alfredo Martinez.
1956 - The Sycamore Lanai Apartments, aka Sycamore Villas, 1736 North Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles CA. 36 units. Designed with Dan Saxon Palmer. Developed by George Alexander Construction. Top photo by Michael Locke.
1956 - The Burton R. and Sue F. Kennedy House, 3601 Cody Road, Sherman Oaks CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. G. Oberman Co. was the builder. Photos by Michael Locke.
1957 - The Edward Dmytryk House, 1852 Apache Circle, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. Dmytryk is best remembered for directing The Caine Mutiny (1954). Photo by Michael Locke.
1957 - Dunas Sepulveda housing tract, Encino CA. Dunas Investment Company was the developer. Unbuilt.
1957 - Tract Houses, Bel Air CA. Developed by Elwain Steinkamp. Unsure if built.
1957 - The Ramon Rise Development, Ramon Road and El Cielo Drive, Little Beverly Hills, Palm Springs CA. Built by the Dunas/Alexander Construction Company. 84 houses. Above example is 663 Beverly Drive (1958).
1957 - The Charles W. Sundberg Residence, 3666 Scadlock Lane, Van Nuys CA. Built by Steinkamp. The pool and 2 story recreation building with bath were added in the late 1970s. Sold in 2015. Photo by Michael Locke.
1957 - The Krisel Apartments, Rancho Santa Fe CA. Unbuilt.
1957 - 1042 East Apache Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2019.
1957 - The Marlborough Park Housing Tract, Granada Hills CA. Commissioned 1956. Despite active promotion of Modernist designs, the subdivision was ultimately built with a mixture of Ranch and more conventional house styles - and renamed Northridge College Estates, below. Above example is 10625 Debra Avenue.
1957 - The Ocotillo Lodge, 1111 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA. Developed by George Alexander Construction Company and Joseph Dunas as a resort to attract potential homeowners to the Coachella Valley. Landscape design by Garrett Eckbo with interior design work attributed to Charles J. Aufferth Jr. Sold in 1963 to actor Gene Autry. In 1968, Autry sold the Ocotillo to Jerry Buss, owner of the L.A. Lakers, who used it as a getaway for the players. Buss owned and operated it through the latter part of the 1990s. Converted to condominiums. Photo by Michael Locke.
1957 - aka The St. Helena Cody House, Palm Springs CA. Photo by Dan Chavkin.
1958 - 505 South Roxbury Drive, Palm Springs CA. Built by the George Alexander Construction Company. Sold in 2020. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1958 - Northridge College Estates Housing Tract, Northridge CA. Julian Weinstock was the developer. Above example: 17517 Romar Street.
1958 - The Loma Palisades Apartments, 2799 Adrian Street, San Diego CA. George Holstein, developer.
1958 - Palm Springs Oasis Development, Palm Springs CA. Unsure of status.
1958 - 1932 South Navajo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Built by Alexander. Part of El Camino Estates. Sold in 2008. Sold in 2018.
1958 - Tract houses, San Diego CA. Lealand Builders and Drogin were the developers. Unbuilt.
1958 - The Cabrillo Palisades Apartments, aka Agave Ridge Townhomes, 7901 Harmarsh Street, San Diego CA.
1959 - The Lionel Krisel House II, 1559 North Bundy Drive, Los Angeles CA. Lionel was Krisel's older brother. Sold in 1975 to Glenwood and Marya Garvey. Photo by Michael Locke.
1959 - Tract houses, Phoenix AZ. Robert Altman, developer. Unbuilt.
1959 - Imperial Palisades Apartments, San Diego CA. Robert Gordon, developer. Probably unbuilt.
1959 - The Wallum Apartments, San Diego CA. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Pan Pacific Home Show House, 118 South Saltair Avenue, Los Angeles CA. Sold to Ronald and Charlotte Ching. Photo by Michael Locke.
1959 - The Berger House, San Diego CA. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Lionel Krisel House III, 974 Teakwood Road, Los Angeles CA. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Bonita Hills Housing Tract, Bonita CA. William Starr was the developer. Likely unbuilt.
1959 - Proposed development, Harol Construction, Yuma AZ. Unbuilt.
1959 - The Borrego Gold Club Estates housing tract, Borrego Springs CA. Developed by Corey. The eight homes in what was known as the Golf Club Annex are identical to the homes Krisel and Palmer designed for Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates the same year. Most have been severely altered or destroyed. The 1959 Pitman-Pauli residence above was restored by two sisters and their husbands (architects and designers) as a vacation home.
1959 - La Jolla Scenic Heights housing tract, La Jolla CA. Drogin Construction Company was the developer. Above example at 8356 Sugarman Drive was sold in 2015 to second owners Kamyar Ghassemi and Nooshin Azami.
1959 - 2149 North Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA. Photo by Michael Locke.
1959 - 2217 North Avenida Cabelleros, Palm Springs CA. Photo by Michael Locke.
1959 - Tract houses, Phoenix AZ. Robert Altman, developer. Unbuilt.
1959 - Imperial Palisades Apartments, San Diego CA. Robert Gordon, developer. Probably unbuilt.
1959 - The Wallum Apartments, San Diego CA. Unbuilt.
1960 - The Golden Vista Estates, Palm Springs CA. Many houses built by George Alexander Construction. Above example is 893 North Fair Circle.
1960 - The Bob and Helene Alexander House, aka House of Tomorrow, aka Elvis Honeymoon House, 1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs CA. Rented for about a year by Elvis and Priscilla Presley for their honeymoon. Sold in 1989 to M. Leonard Lewis and his daughter, Barbara Lewis Rubin. For sale starting in 2014; sold in 2020 to 40225 Sand Dune LLC.
1960 - 3413 Larga Circle, San Diego CA.
1961 - La Jolla Crest housing tract, La Jolla CA. Drogin Construction, developer. Above example is 5632 Soledad Mountain Road.
1961 - Brighton Gardens housing tract, Drogin Construction, developer, Montebello CA. Unbuilt.
1961 - The Northeast Clairemont Village Apartments, Irving Kahn, developer, San Diego CA. Unbuilt.
1961 - Brighton Gardens, FHA 231 Project, David Sapp Construction, San Diego CA. Unsure if built.
1961 - The Brandon Plaza Apartments, West Hollywood CA. Includes many remodels. As of 2015, owned by Gary Krisel, William's nephew.
1961 - The Crestmont Hills housing tract, El Paso TX. Lonestar Builders was the developer. Commissioned 1957. Above example is 313 Clairemont Drive, sold in 2015 to Luis Estrella.
1961 - Silver Spur Properties, Palm Desert CA. Developed by Louis Lesser Enterprises. The site was Silver Spur Ranch, once home to Bing Crosby, developed beginning in the 1950s and continuing into the 2010s. There are many styles of houses. Some of the Modern ones are by Krisel.
1962 - 5433 Avenida Fiesta, La Jolla CA. Designed with Dan Palmer as part of the La Jolla Crest subdivision developed by the Drogin Construction Company. Photo by Michael Locke.
1962 - 5583 Soledad Mountain Road, La Jolla CA. Designed with Dan Palmer as part of the La Jolla Crest subdivision developed by the Drogin Construction Company. Photo by Michael Locke.
1963 - The Bankers Hill Apartments, Corey/Ballard, developer, Bankers Hill, San Diego CA. Location unknown. Photo by Modern San Diego.
1964 - Viewpoint Homes housing tract, La Jolla CA. Deeloped by Drogin Construction. Commissioned 1960. Unbuilt.
1963 - Armstrong Gardens/Santa Monica Gardens apartments, FHA and Allan and Allan, developers, Santa Maria CA. Commissioned 1962. Likely unbuilt.
1963 - Benton Homes Co-op Development, Palm Springs CA. Probably unbuilt.
1963 - The Vanowen Apartments, San Fernando CA. Unbuilt.
1963 - The Royal La Jollan Apartments, Corey/Ballard, developer, Los Angeles CA. Likely unbuilt.
1963 - The La Jolla Towers Apartments, La Jolla CA. Unbuilt.
1963 - Paradise Palms housing tract, Las Vegas NV. Developed by Molaskey Development.
1963 - La Quinta Keys, developed by Sandpiper Builders, Palm Desert CA. Status unknown.
1963 - The William (Bill) Kemp House, aka the Lost Krisel, 73140 Fiddleneck Lane, Palm Desert CA. Built by Kemp. Sold in 1998. Sold in 2012 to Jill Lyall.
1964 - Desert Hills Cooperative Apartments, Palm Springs CA. Albert Levitt was the builder. Commissioned 1953. Built. Needs verification.
1964 - The Hiland Houses housing tract. Lawrence Drogin Construction was the builder. Location unknown. Unbuilt.
1964 - The Riviera Shores Apartments, San Diego CA. Nothing found except a listing in his collection.
1964 - Country Club Apartments, Palm Springs CA. Milton Hicks Investment Company was the builder. Commissioned 1953. Probably unbuilt.
1964 - The Point Loma Towers, 3811 Marquette Place, San Diego CA. Name changed to Gables Point Loma and listed as 3801-3811 Marquette Place. Sold to LG Point Loma LP.
1965 - The Bonita Woods housing tract, Bonita Woods Drive and Sweetwater Road, Chula Vista CA. Commissioned 1964. 75 homes on a 41-acre site. Lawrence Drogin Construction was the builder on a site that was once part of an Indian camp from 4000-6000 years ago. Above example is 4822 Whipporwill.
1965 - The Marlwood Golf Club Homes, developed by Marlborough/Penrod developers, Granada Hills CA. Commissioned 1964. Likely unbuilt.
1965 - The Kreinman House, Los Angeles CA. Status unknown.
Around 1965 - 1337 North Kenter, Los Angeles CA. Attributed to Krisel. However owners Bruce and Aulana Peters report the designer was Kipp Stewart. Destroyed. New house built for the Peters in 1992, designed by Sheldon Caris.
1965 - The Farrell Canyon Estates Development, Sonora Road, Palm Springs CA. This was an 48-house addition to a development built in 1963 by architects L. C. Majors and Associates. George Alexander was the developer. Unbuilt. The project was cut short when the Alexanders were killed in an airplane crash in 1965.
1965 - The La Jolla Villa Apartments, La Jolla CA. Likely unbuilt; nothing found by that name.
1966 - The Stevens House, Malibu CA. Unbuilt. Could possibly be a project eventually designed by John Lautner. Needs verification.
1966 - The College Park Villa Apartments, San Diego CA. Likely unbuilt; nothing found by that name.
1966 - aka The Gary Johns House, 2428 South Sierra Madre, Canyonview Estates, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Dan Palmer. Commissioned 1962. Photos by Dan Chavkin.
1967 - King's Point Development, King's Road, Palm Springs CA. Bob Grundt was the builder. 44 free-standing condominiums. See the Kings Point page.
1967 - The Rice House, Palm Springs CA. Status unknown.
1967 - The Collwood Glen Apartments, 4546 52nd Street, San Diego CA. Developed by William Starr.
1968 - The Park West/Park East Apartments, location unknown. Mabie and Mintz were the developers. Unbuilt.
1968 - The Grundt-Tipper House, aka The Pod House, 2587 South Paqueno Drive, Palm Springs CA. Client desired no square rooms, so the house features 5 interlocking polygons connected by a central courtyard interlaced with flowing ponds and other water features. Sold to Paul and Audrey Hanneman/SPC Reality Investments/Agua Caliente Development Authority in 2018. Interior renovations by Cami Weinstein. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.
1968 - The Canyon Lake Development, Riverside County CA. Developed by Corona Land Development. One of a very few gated cities in California, Canyon Lake began as a master-planned community developed by Corona Land Company in 1968. Consisting of 4,801 community lots, all of the homes within the city are located within the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association (POA), and all but a few roads within the city are privately held and maintained. The entrances to the Canyon Lake POA are gated and guarded. Unclear how many houses were ultimately designed by Krisel.
1968 - The Park Ivy Apartments, Escondido CA. Mabie and Mintz were the developers. Likely unbuilt.
1968 - The Voltaire Apartments, San Diego CA. Mabie and Mintz were the developers. Likely unbuilt.
1968 - Experimental Housing for Calpar Building Company, location unknown. Likely unbuilt.
1969 - 2497 South Caliente, Palm Springs CA. For sale in 2019.
1969 - The Sunkist Homes Development, Palm Springs CA. Status unknown.
1969 - The Shorepoint Condominiums, 1040 Coast Boulevard, La Jolla CA. Commissioned 1967. William Starr/Roger Chapin were the developers.
1970 - The Savoy Apartments, Hollywood area of Los Angeles CA. Mutual Building and Engineering Corp was the developer. Likely unbuilt.
1970 - The Stoneybrook Apartments, Lincoln Properties developers, Seal Beach CA. Likely unbuilt.
1970 - The Playboy Village Apartments, Levitt and Sons Developers of California, Los Angeles CA. Likely unbuilt.
1970 - The Marina Tower Apartments, Jack Baskin developer, 601 Sacramento Street, Vallejo CA. Originally designed as apartments, this complex became affordable housing in 2005 when BRIDGE housing and the John Stewart Company purchased the 14-story concrete structure to guarantee the continued existence of affordable senior housing in downtown Vallejo. TWM Architects and Planners completed the seismic retrofitting and interior rehabilitation for 155 senior households.
1970 - The Marina Heights Apartments, 135 Carolina Street, Vallejo CA. Jack Baskin was the developer.
1970 - The Harbour Lights Apartments, aka Harbour Lights Resort Apartments, 167 Saybrook Lane, Huntington Beach CA. Lincoln Properties was the developer.
1971 - The Ocean Towers Condos, 201 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica CA. Photos by Michael Locke.
1973 - The Del Prado, 666 Upas Street, San Diego CA. Sixty-six luxury condominiums plus a penthouse. Photo by Michael Locke.
1976 - Park Plaza Condos, 515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica CA. Photo by Michael Locke.
1981 - The Boca Monica Condos, 1007 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica CA. Photos by Michael Locke.
1981 - 1033 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica CA. Photo by Michael Locke.
1981 - The Huntington Terrace, 4080 Via Marisol, Los Angeles CA. 108-unit condominium complex designed with Abraham Shapiro and built by J & D Carley Corp. Builders. Photos by Michael Locke.
2006 - The Butterfly Homes, Palm Springs CA. Developer Maxx Livingstone collaborated with Krisel on the re-release of Krisel's Butterfly Home design, Four were built. Status and locations unknown; website is gone as of 2018.
2009 - Krisel designed and supervised construction of five new houses in Palm Springs CA. Could be the Butterfly homes above, needs verification.
Sources include: The William Krisel Papers at the Getty Research Institute.