George and Robert Alexander Builders of Modernism in Palm Springs

Palmer & Krisel Twin Palms tractr home. Photo by Julius Shulman. Getty Museum

The Alexanders George and Robert Alexander – Builders of Modernism in Palm Springs Photo: Julius Shulman Palm Springs’ great houses for Kaufman, Frey, Sinatra, Elrod, and others are all handsome expressions of the Modern Era. But as custom designs limited to one site and one incarnation, they lack one significant characteristic of Modernism; repeatability. Embedded in Modernism is the ideal of mass production. The repeatable object, each equal in quality, form and use, is the essence of the twentieth century in contrast with handcrafted artifacts of previous centuries. The impact of the democratization of goods, services, and architecture – from cars to movies to billboards to McDonalds – was tremendous. It is the point where the machine and mass production bring Modernism to the mass audience; it happened in Palm Springs when father and son George and Robert Alexander brought architects Dan Palmer and William Krisel from Los Angeles to […]

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Donald Wexler an icon in Mid Century Modern Architecture in Palm Springs

Donald Wexler Steel House in Palm Springs

Donald Wexler Famous Palm Springs Architect   Donald Wexler practiced architecture during what he calls the “golden age” of California architecture from the immediate postwar years through the 1970s. This was a time when architects enjoyed considerable freedom to employ new materials and technologies in their search for functionally beautiful architecture. The extremes of the desert climate forced Wexler to develop a sustainable architecture, which was not only successful functionally, but achieved a timeless aesthetic appeal. During a career that spanned almost six decades, he designed numerous houses, condominium complexes, as well as banks, office parks and schools. Donald Wexler moved to Palm Springs in early 1953 to work with William Cody, a high-living socialite with a sense for solid design. He had intended to only stay about six months, but like many people, Donald Wexler fell hard for the Coachella Valley immediately upon arriving in Palm Springs!! After living […]

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Wexler’s Steel Development House No. 2 Now Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Mid-Century Modern Architecture - Palm springs

Architect Donald Wexler’s Steel Development House No. 2 — located on North Sunny View Drive —  is the first midcentury structure in Palm Springs to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house received national distinction March 30, 2012 after current homeowner, Brian McGuire, a member of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, applied to the California Office of Historic Preservation, providing many qualified letters in support.  The nomination was unanimously recommended, and the director of the National Park Service accepted the nomination. “As midcentury modernism continues to mature as an important aspect of America’s architectural heritage, it is increasingly important to raise awareness at the national level of Palm Springs’ incredible wealth of modernist structure,” said Ron Marshall, PSPF president.  “What better place to start than architect Don Wexler’s U.S. Steel House project, which is now 50 years old.” www.pspreservationfoundation.org Designed by Wexler and built by the […]

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The Legacy of Steel and Shade Architect Donald Wexler Celebrated at Palm Springs Museum Through May 29

Welcome to Ralph Haverkate Real Estate, Specializing in Desert Modern Homes for Sale in the Palm Springs Area One of the highlights of this year’s Modernism Week is a continuing retrospective of architect Don Wexler’s 60-year career titled Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler at the Palm Springs Museum, on view through May 29. A symposium on Wexler’s legacy will be on Saturday, February 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the museum.  Museum architecture and design curator Sidney Williams and co-curator Dr. Lauren Weiss Bricker will moderate a discussion of contemporary architects who continue in Wexler’s legacy of environmentally sensitive, innovative designs.  www.psmuseum.org/councils Wexler’s iconic designs such as the folded plate roof lines of the Alexander Steel Homes, overhangs that shade walls of glass, clerestory windows that bring in natural light, and prefabricated all-steel structures are some examples of active and passive solar energy uses and […]

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