Enjoy browsing, but unless otherwise noted, these houses are private property and closed to the public -- so don't go tromping around uninvited!
CTRL-F to Search Within Page

USModernist Wexler

USModernist USModernist USModernist

DONALD ALLEN WEXLER, FAIA (1926-2015)

Born in Sioux Falls SD and raised in Minneapolis MN, Wexler served in the Navy during WWII and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1950. He moved to Los Angeles to work for Richard Neutra then moved to Palm Springs in 1952 to work for William Cody.

In 1952, Wexler, along with Richard Harrison from Cody’s firm, set up Wexler & Harrison, photo above. In 1960, the George Alexander Construction Company hired them to design a neighborhood of prefab all-steel homes in Palm Springs. Due to high steel costs, the project was halted after just seven homes were built, but those seven became internationally acclaimed. That partnership dissolved amicably in 1961 and Wexler went on his own. At the same time, he owned Wexler and Perrin-Boggio Architects and Engineers. From 1969 to 2000 he was back on his own. WWCOT (Widom, Wein, Cohen, O'Leary, and Terasawa) which became DLR acquired Wexler's firm in 2000. Wexler practiced in Palm Springs for almost six decades designing houses, schools, hotels, banks and the Palm Springs International Airport. He was one of the first architects to building an entire house subdivision out of steel framing. His archives are at the Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design. He was honored on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2008. Research by Catherine Westergaard Cramer.


Subdivisions: Caballeros Estates * El Rancho Vista * Enchanted Homes/Sunmor * Green Fairway * Rancho Estates


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1954 - The Joe and Joyce Pawling House I, aka Lilliana Gardens, 230 West Lilliana Drive, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Richard Harrison. Sold in 2016 to Marduk (Duke) and Zsuzsi Sayad. B/W photo by Dan Shavkin.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1954 - Lilliana Gardens II, 231 West Lilliana Drive, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Richard Harrision as a speculative venture with custom home builder Joseph Stark Pawling. Interior design by Arthur Elrod. Sold to Rosemarie Vacano. Near the end of his life, mystery author Raymond Chandler penned four chapters of his last novel, Poodle Springs, while residing at the house; the unfinished work was completed by Robert B. Park in 1989. Top photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist


1954 - The Robert (Bob) Howard and Andrea Leeds House I, aka Leeds-Howard House I, aka Kirk Douglas House, 515 West Vía Lola, Palm Springs CA. Sold around 1956 to Kirk and Anne Douglas. Douglas expanded the living area around 1976 to add a formal dining room. Kitchen remodeled in 1980. Sold in 1999 to Todd Jenkins and Timothy Dietrich. Sold in 2016 to Michael Budman and architect Diane Bald who did a restoration. Photos 2-4 by Michael Locke, 5-8 by Dan Chavkin.

According to the Desert Sun, "Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy carried on an affair there. Frank Sinatra occasionally cooked meals in the kitchen. And when the house behind it belonged to Dinah Shore, the families installed a gate between their properties so they and their guests could travel back and forth."


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1955 - The Donald and Marilynn Wexler House, 1272 East Verbena Drive, Palm Springs CA. Wexler did additions in 1965 and 2007. Sold several times, including to Alice Alioto and Daniel Giles. Restoration by architect Lance O'Donnell. Sold in 2016 to Joe Mantello. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1955 - The William Boggess House, 1366 South Calle de Maria, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Richard Harrison. Built by Joe Pawling. Featured in LA Times Home, 1/1/1956. Photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1957 - The Maurice Smith House, 332 West Pablo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold to William and Lillian A. Pfisterer.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1957 - The Ted Leff House, aka the Leff/Florsheim House, 362 West Vía Sol, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Harold and Sarabel Florsheim. Sold to Armstrong. Sold in 2016 to Eric Carlson and Jonathan Eaton. Top photo by Dan Chavkin; bottom photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1957 - The Sydney and Rachel Charney House, 37-127 Marx Drive, Tamarisk Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA. Designed with Richard Harrison. Interiors by Arthur Elrod. Landscape design by Garrett Eckbo.


USModernist

1958 - The Royal Air Properties Luxury Apartments, 389 West Tahquitz Drive, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Richard Harrison. Interiors by Arthur Elrod. Destroyed.


USModernist

1958 - Wladziu Valentino "Lee" Liberace House, 231 Lyn Circle, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Richard Harrison. The famed pianist and entertainer owned four houses in Palm Springs including this one, which he used as a guest house. Liberace had the swimming pool fashioned in the shape of a grand piano. Sold in 2016 to Michael Valle. Photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

USModernist

1959 - The Robert (Bob) Howard and Andrea Leeds House II, aka Leeds-Howard House II, 375 West Via Lola, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Sidney and Alexandra Sheldon who removed the Modernist features with a mishmash of renovations. Sold to Kevin Lane and Matthew (Shev) Rush, who discovered its Wexler roots and did a complete Modernist restoration. Sold in 2015 to Via Lola Palm Springs LLC.


USModernist

USModernist

Zen House, Wexler & Harrison 1959.jpg

1959 - aka The Zen House, 1344 West Calle de Maria, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1956. Designed with Richard Harrison. Sold to Avi Levi. Sold in 2014 to the Kirkwood family. Sold in 2018 to Debra and Mark Clausen. Bottom two photos by Dan Chavkin.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1959-1960 - The Royal Hawaiian Estates Condominiums, encompassing East Twin Palms Drive, South Palm Canyon Drive, and Canyon Rock Road, Palm Springs CA. 40 units, 12 buildings on 12 acres. Development was created for Jewish seniors and blends the modernist aesthetic with Polynesian architectural detailing (including tiki apexes and flying sevens). Top photo: The Philip Short Condo, 1774 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA. Short was the developer. Sold to Richard A. Morris in 2005. Sold in 2015 to Eric Johnston.

Other photos, by Michael Locke, are of 201 East Twin Palms Drive and the overall complex.


USModernist

1960 - 71048 Country Club Drive, aka None Such Road, Rancho Mirage CA. Sold to H. D. Wright. Sold in 2015 to Michael Alexonis and Hope Garrison. Part of Thunderbird North, ten homes on Country Club Drive, Morningsprings Road, Morningside Drive, and Early Times Road designed in 1957 around a communal swimming pool designed by Wexler and William Cody.

1960 - 71049 Early Times Road, Rancho Mirage CA. Part of Thunderbird North, ten homes on Country Club Drive, Morningsprings Road, Morningside Drive, and Early Times Road designed in 1957 around a communal swimming pool designed by Wexler and William Cody. Sold to Lawrence B. Chrysler. Altered, badly, in the 1990s. Sold in 2015. Restored and renovated by Brad Dunning who provided the interior photos.


USModernist

1960 - The Bernard and Adele Perlin, 1044 Montego Drive, Los Angeles CA. Still owned by the Perlin Trust as of 2020. Top photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

Around 1960 - The Steel House, 1230 Mason Avenue, Las Vegas NV. Photo by Brad Dunning.


USModernist

USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 1 of 7, 290 East Simms Road, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961. Originally planned as a tract of 38 all-steel houses, only 7 were built due to the increase in the price of steel. Built by the George Alexander Construction Company, the components were prefabricated in Los Angeles, trucked to the site, and lowered onto a concrete foundation by crane. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Furnished by Arthur Elrod. Featured in Architectural Record Houses 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold in 2013 to John C. Manly. Color photos by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 2 of 7, 3125 Sunnyview Drive, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Sold in 2006 to Brian William McGuire. Sold in 2018.


USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 3 of 7, 3100 Sunnyview Drive, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold in 1993 to James William Moore. Top photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 4 of 7, 3133 Sunnyview Drive, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold in 2014 to David P. Salinger and James W. Longtin. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 5 of 7, 3165 Sunnyview Drive, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold to Douglas Keeve and Mary Ann Webster. Photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 6 of 7, 300 East Molino Road, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold in 2007 to Thomas Carnase and Claire Victor. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1962 - The Calcor/Rheem Prefabricated Steel House, aka Wexler Steel House 7 of 7, 330 East Molino Road, Palm Springs CA. Featured in Architectural Record, May 1963. Designated a Palm Springs Historic Landmark in 2001. Sold in 1997 to James Isermann. Photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1962 - The Compton Apartment Development, Compton CA. Unbuilt. A project with I. J. Kahn and Associates.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

1964 - The Maurice and Dinah Shore Smith House, 432 West Hermosa Place, Palm Springs CA. Built for actress/singer Dinah Shore and her husband. Sold in 2002 to David Lee. Restored in 2005 by D. Crosby Ross. Sold in 2011 to Ben and Jude Lipps. Sold in 2014 to Malibu Colony Pch Properties, a trust owned by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Available for rent. Top photo by Michael Locke; second by Glen Wexler.


1964 - The Leisure Life Village, 6127 Erlanger Street, San Diego CA. Originally started by architect William Krisel. Builder and developer, Irvin J. Kahn. 248 single story steel apartment homes designed for active adults. Destroyed in 2009 for the 368-unit Cresta Bella Apartments.


image.png

USModernist

USModernist

1967 - aka the AISI house, aka the Style in Steel House, 5280 Buck Hill Avenue, Buena Park CA. Designed for the Ray A. Watt Co., U. S. Steel, and American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Sold to George Daly. Sold in 2006 to Young J. Paik. Top photo by Michael Locke; B/W photos by Julius Shulman.


USModernistUSModernist

1968 - The Garden Apartments, Indio CA. Unbuilt. Project for Hight Construction Company.

1969 - Two Bunch Palms Condominiums, Desert Hot Springs CA. Unbuilt. Project for Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson.


1969 - The Michael and Barbara Heathman House, 633 South La Mirada Road, Palm Springs CA. Renovated by Wexler in 1987. Sold in 1996 to Robert Kaplan. Photos by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1971 - The Howard Richmond House, Rancho Mirage CA. Unbuilt. Commissioned 1969.


USModernist

1972 - aka the Sagewood Condominiums, block encompassing East Sandalwood, North Sunrise Way, North Cerritos, and East Chia Road, Palm Springs CA. Project for Kaufman and Broad. 108 units with carports or shared garages, 3 bedroom/2 bath, 2 bedroom/2 bath. Representative unit, 2092 Sandalwood Drive, Palm Springs CA. 2 br/2 ba. Sold to Alan Hymowitz. Sold in 2015 to Jeffrey Acidera.


USModernist

1973 - The Twin Springs Condominiums, 2696 South Sierra Madre, Palm Springs CA. 40-unit complex of 2 bedroom/2 bath condos. The original unit was still owned by its first owner, Sue Braun, as of 2015. Top photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1979 - The H. Kassinger House, Thunderbird Heights, Rancho Mirage CA.


USModernist

USModernist

1980 - The Rose Garden Condominiums, East Baristo Road at Tiffany Circle, Palm Springs CA. 148 unit condominium complex designed for H. Kassinger Development Co. Unit in above interior photo is 1335 Tiffany Circle South. Bottom photo by Michael Locke.


1981 - The Cecil P. and Margaret Bacon Jones House, 899 Tamarisk Road, Palm Springs, CA. Cecil Jones was active in the College of American Surgeons and served on the school board of the Palm Springs Unified School District. Wexler also did 1976 and 1981 additions. Still in the Jones family as of 2014. Photo by Michael Locke.


USModernist

1983 - The La Quinta Condominiums, La Quinta CA. Unbuilt.


USModernist

2004 - The Tropicana, 750-774 North Prescott Drive, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned in 2001 by Allen Miller. The four post-and-beam glass houses were built on the ground of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez's original old Las Palmas estate. Subsequent owners changed the house into a small hotel known in the 1980s as the Prescott and more recently as the Abbey. Exterior photos by Michael Locke.


USModernist

USModernist

2007 - The Marc Sanders House, aka the Sanders/Krizman House, 1234 East Verbena Drive (formerly 1234 North Hermosa Drive), Palm Springs CA. Commissioned in 2001. Located near Wexler's own house. Construction took six years, during which time it was sold twice, first to Robert T. Butler, and in 2002 to Anne Krizman. Sold in 2011 to Tod Abrams. Sold in 2015 to Kim Kuehner.


2008 - The Glen Wexler Addition, 3274 North Knoll Drive, Los Angeles CA. Don Wexler served as consultant. For sale in 2018. Photos by Michael Locke.


USModernist

2011 - Developer Marnie McBryde planned 50 Wexler-designed homes in the Hamptons of NY. Unbuilt.


2013 - The Brian Balthazor Residence, 1977 South Navajo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Architect of record, Lance O'Donnell. A reproduction of Wexler's 1954 family home brought up to code. Wexler was involved as consultant.


USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

USModernist

2015 - The Marc Sanders House II, aka Steel and Glass 2015, 1155 East Granvia Valmonte, Palm Springs CA. Adapted from the earlier Sanders/Krizman project. Architect of record, Lance O'Donnell; Wexler was a consultant. Built by Better Built Inc. Sold in 2016. For sale in 2020.


Sources include: Morris Newman; psmodcom.org; City of Palm Springs Survey.