Photo Credit: Ps4rent.com
Palm Springs is home to many vibrant historic neighborhoods, and Twin Palms is one of its most memorable, home to an array of inventive midcentury modern homes and a thriving art and design community. In this post, we’ll take a look back at the history of the neighborhood that lends so much midcentury character to the city of Palm Springs.
Officially known as Twin Palms Estates, this neighborhood is located in South Palm Springs. The area is home to a number of midcentury modern homes, including a set of Palm Springs originals. In 1956 and 1957, it became the first site of the original steel and concrete “Alexander Homes” that would eventually fill the Coachella Valley. These cutting-edge contemporary designs transformed Palm Springs into a modern city and midcentury design mecca.
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“Alexander Home” in Twin Palms – Photo Credit: AlexDethier.com
The “Alexander Homes” were designed as tract housing with a difference. The father-son team of George and Robert Alexander wanted to create housing for middle-income families, but they didn’t want affordable to mean bland or monotonous. They collaborated with up-and-coming architect William Krisel, whose innovative three-quarter designs and exposed beams kept costs down while enhancing the clean, modern style. The Alexanders finished the homes in a range of roof styles to create a sense of variety and visual interest.
Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Home – Photo Credit: Luxuryretreats.com
Twin Palms Estates is also home to the Twin Palms estate, an iconic vacation home commissioned by legendary crooner Frank Sinatra in 1947. Sinatra started visiting Palm Springs in the late 1940s, drawn by its reputation as an austere desert paradise. In 1947, he asked architect E. Stewart Williams to build him a weekend oasis. Williams was already a prolific architect in the Palm Springs area, but Sinatra was his first residential client.
Sinatra’s vacation home would become an emblematic example of desert modernism, a style original to Palm Springs. Williams recommended a single-story modern building, ideal for Palm Springs’ warm, sunny climate. Sinatra wanted the building finished in time for Christmas, in time for a glamorous holiday soiree, the first of many legendary parties in his new Palm Springs abode.
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Twin Palms Estates “Alexander Home” – Photo Credit: Kriselconnection.com
Today, Twin Palms is a popular destination for people looking to settle in Palm Springs, particularly those interested in owning their own well-preserved piece of midcentury architecture. In addition to stellar midcentury architecture, the neighborhood is full of broad streets, towering palm trees, and the welcoming, laid-back vibe that makes Palm Springs such a remarkable place to call home.
Are you interested in learning more about the historic neighborhoods of Palm Springs? At Iconic Properties Palm Springs, we’re overjoyed to show off the extraordinary homes on offer in this beautiful Southern California city! Contact us for a consultation today!