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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Palmer & Krisel’s Mid Century Modern Architecture Celebrated During Palm Springs 75th Anniversary

    “Palm Springs should be very proud that it is known as the capital of the world for Mid Century Modern architecture,” said William Krisel, one of Palm Springs’ foremost MCM architects who designed Canyon View Estates for developer Roy Fey in 1962. Krisel was interviewed for a Palm Springs Life story this month by Lawrence Karol. The feature focuses on two Canyon View Estates homes that have been refurbished by a younger generation of modernists. www.palmspringslife.com This year, as Palm Springs celebrates its 75th anniversary, its prestige as an architectural center is clearly part of the celebration.  Krisel said that Palm Springs, “is the one city in America that really protects that design, advocated that design, and is proud of that design.” A New Generation of Modernists David and Arianne Keens and Duff Kleiner are the homeowners featured in Palm Springs Life who renovated their Canyon View Estates […]

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William Krisel Papers Now Archived at Getty Research Institute

William Krisel Papers Now Archived at Getty Research Institute

The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, one of the foremost libraries of mid-century modern architecture, recently announced its newest archive containing the William Krisel papers.  The collection consists of drawings, photographs and written documents that illuminate one of the region’s most prolific architects. www.pub.getty.edu/research Krisel and his partner Dan Palmer — in collaboration with such developers as George Alexander, Leonard Drogin and J.C. Dunas — were responsible for some 40,000 homes in Southern California, particularly known for their iconic butterfly roof tract house designs. Krisel brought the aesthetics and values of California’s casual indoor-outdoor living to the masses.  Krisel & Palmer tract homes were affordable and well constructed, and exemplified the building boom of the post-war era in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Coachella Valley. While Krisel ‘s architectural studies at the University of Southern California were interrupted by World War II, he graduated in 1949, earned his […]

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This post is in: Palm Springs Architects & Designers, Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Homes, Palm Springs Modernism, Preservation of Palm Springs Modernism