In Rancho Mirage, Desert Modernism With An Architectural Pedigree, $2.5MAuthor:Philip Ferrato
In the decades following WWII, Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison were among the handful of Modernist architects working in the Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage area, creating what we think of today as Desert Modernism. Wexler had worked for Richard Neutra in Los Angeles before moving to the desert; both he and Harrison worked for the legendary architect William F. Cody before starting their own firm, but they would collaborate with Cody on future projects, including the genesis of this home in a tract laid out by Cody. Like so much of the country, the desert underwent a building boom, at first mostly fueled by prosperous Angelenos and the film industry looking to escape the smog and scrutiny of Los Angeles, plus Mid-Western snowbirds. Working hand-in-hand with developers, it was an ideal place to be an architect.
Indeed, it was catnip for developers in the ‘60s and would become so decades later. Beginning in ‘90s, prime examples of Desert Modern were being demolished in the name of progress, but an intrepid group of activists began a campaign to save the desert’s design heritage, growing into the architectural juggernaut that is (now biennial) Modernism Week. Appropriately, this 1957 Wexler + Harrison home, now landmarked, is being offered on the cusp of this year’s Modernism Week, which begins November 1 this year. The 3-bed, 3-bath home on a very private half-acre lot was impeccably restored and renovated by architectural and interior designer Brad Dunning in 2018.
What We Love: It’s an immaculate, unpretentious example of low, linear Desert Modernism and an enduring way of life, with a low-slung structure firmly rooted in the desert, restored by a master.
More: Go to the listing for additional images and details. An outstanding opportunity to own a piece of Rancho Mirage’s architectural heritage, represented by Keith Markovitz and the architecture specialists TKK Represents at Compass.
Photo Credit: Berlyn Media