Open House Obsession: William F. Cody’s Jaffe House In Rancho Mirage, $2M


Where: 37200 Palm View Road, Rancho Mirage
When: Sunday, February 15th from 12:00pm-3:00pm.
Asking: $1,995,000
What: Built in 1963 on the grounds of the Tamarisk Golf Club, this 5-bed, 4-bath desert compound comes with a pedigree. It was originally built for Dr. Henry L. Jaffe, a pioneer in nuclear medicine and cancer treatment in Los Angeles on a lot purchased from a friend and patient, Groucho Marx. Another friend and golf partner, Edgar Kauffmann, the department store heir/architecture patron who had hired Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater and Richard Neutra to build his iconic desert house in nearby Palm Springs, recommended William F. Cody and the young architect created a classic Desert Modern house (interpreting the International Style for the desert with slender columns and deep eaves to shelter both the indoor and outdoor spaces).

Dr. Jaffe’s former office (below at left) is now a guest cottage. The house is arranged around a courtyard with a T-shaped pool– the living/dining space, the kitchen, and master bedroom are at the far end of the covered walkway.

The fireplace wall is adobe brick, painted white.

The kitchen retains some of its original cabinetwork and cooktop, plus new appliances, and we like that it’s not completely open to the dining area.

Details: The sunset is lovely, but look at how precisely the thin slab of poured concrete deck defines the surface of the water. The mesh and steel lounge furniture was designd by Richard Shultz for Knoll in 1966.

More: A Rancho Mirage landmark, the Jaffe House is covered under the Mills Act, a California statute that substanitally reduces property taxes in exchange for historically accurate restoration. Check out the realtor’s dedicated site for more images and if you miss this open house, you can sign up for a $35 tour under the auspices of Palm Springs Modernism Week.