Renowned Mid-Century modern architect Donald Wexler's final home in Palm Springs is on the market for $2.3 million. The 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 2,550 square foot steel post-and-beam house is located in sought-after The Movie Colony and features a saltwater pool, traditional galley kitchen, and double-sided fireplace, and is solar-ready.
The Mid-Century Modernist architecture style is iconic throughout the world, but nowhere is it more prized than in southern California. Desert Modernism, as it’s often called, is perfectly suited to the SoCal desert, with a focus on energy efficiency and glass walls that invite the sunshine in.
The front of the home is landscaped with a gorgeous desert aesthetic that is low maintenance and drought-resistant. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
From the spacious front yard that also functions as a parking area, is a lovely walkway with a charming trellis ceiling leading to a gate with the same dark gray tone as the surrounding privacy wall. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
Following the walkway, this steel gate opens up to the gorgeous backyard. with a view of the glass walls of the house. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
Upon entry of the house, you are welcomed by the lovely living room that is bathed in natural lighting from the abundant glass windows. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The natural lights coming from the glass walls play well with the bright ceiling and the shiny flooring for a unique and clean aesthetic. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The living room’s brightness is balanced by the gray cushioned sofa set and a black cushioned arm chair. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
This black cushioned arm chair serves as a brilliant reading nook that is provided with an ample supply of natural lighting coming from the backyard view. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
A closer look shows that the living room is also warmed by a modern fireplace beside the black arm chair for those crisp desert nights. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The glass walls of the living room provides an abundance of natural lighting as well as a gorgeous scenic view of the backyard landscape. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The kitchen has a galley-style design with two parallel counters with identical wooden cabinetry and beige countertops. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
A closer look at the cooking area shows that it has modern appliances with a stove-top that stands out against the beige countertop and backsplash. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The other side of the cooking area is the sink area with the same countertop that has a wide area for any cooking preparation or additional small appliances. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The sink area is topped with a wide glass window that has a beautiful scenic view of the desert landscaping outside. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The cooking area of the kitchen has a clear and open wall view of the living room right beside it as well as the view of the backyard. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
A few steps from the kitchen is the dining area with a round glass-top dining table surrounded by green modern chairs and topped with a decorative chandelier. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
Just outside the kitchen is the shaded outdoor area of the patio that has a couple of comfortable arm chairs to sit and relax to enjoy the view of the lovely landscaping. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The backyard has a small plot of soil just outside the house uniformly planted with shrubs for a minimal maintenance setup. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The whole backyard has tall walls filled with lush green shrubbery for privacy matching with the tall trees just beyond the wall. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The pool side has concrete walkways that has several folding lawn chairs facing the pool paired with small round tables. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
Charming and decorative low maintenance plants were placed near the glass sliding door entrance into the interiors of the house. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The centerpiece of the large backyard is this amazing rectangular pool with an attached small pool relaxation. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The other side of the pool has a strip of grassy lawn that is well-maintained making the green tone pop out amidst the desert landscaping surrounding it. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
This view of the backyard shows the over-all beauty that the glass and steel house presents paired with a brilliant blue sky and tall trees for a lovely finish. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The desert landscaping by the green grass lawn has large decorative stones as well as succulents that complete the aesthetic. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
The brilliant blue swimming pool is surrounded by a concrete walkway leading to the glass doors and glass windows of the house. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
This view of the backyard shows just how big and brilliant the pool is and the luxury that the lawn chairs present to the over-all look along with the tall green privacy walls surrounding the backyard. Images courtesy of Toptenrealestatedeals.com.
Donald “Don” Wexler was an extremely influential Mid-Century modern architect. He designed many bespoke structures in his lifetime, including the Palm Springs International Airport, and is widely considered a pioneer of building homes using steel. Wexler passed away in 2015, but before he died — three days before, to be exact — his final home design was approved. “The Last Wexler” is on the market for $2.3 million and its story is just as impressive as its price tag.
The 2,550 square foot, three-bedroom house is located in The Movie Colony, a highly-coveted Palm Springs neighborhood that was once home to A-list celebrities including Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant. The property itself sits on one half of what was once Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate. It also happens to have been one of the very last undeveloped lots in The Movie Colony. But it almost wasn’t built at all.
In 2000, Wexler drew the original plans for his longtime friend, Marc Sanders. For various reasons, there were significant setbacks in building the house. Sanders eventually grew so frustrated that he sold the lot and didn’t have the home built at all, but he did keep the blueprints. Years later, Sanders became aware that the Sinatra lot had been subdivided and the vacant half was available. This was serendipitous, as Sanders had once lived in the Sinatra House himself. Although he was no longer living in Palm Springs and had no need for the home, Sanders decided to get investors on board and have it built.
By this time, Wexler was 88 years old and long since retired. He also wasn’t particularly well and was eager to see his plans come to life, knowing it would be the last of his designs ever built. The plans had to be completely re-drawn, as building codes and specs had changed considerably in the 15 years since they were originally created. Another issue they ran into was that the house was initially going to sit on a corner lot, but the new one did not. In order to make it work without dramatically altering the blueprints, Wexler shifted the house exactly 45 degrees, an innovative trick he had used throughout his career.
This time around, there were no delays and the City approved the final plans in June 2015, three days before Wexler died. To honor his legacy, the building process was held to extremely high standards. It paid off, because everything about the home screams “Palm Springs Wexler.”
The all-steel, post-and-beam construction home is perfectly situated to maximize both mountain views and shade. In a nod to Wexler’s fondness for efficiency and simple elegance, the house is wired for solar and centers around a reflecting pool. Sustainable, natural materials are used throughout, including birch cabinetry and polished concrete floors. A double-sided fireplace acts as a subtle room divider, separating the living and dining rooms. Keeping it authentically Palm Springs, there’s a saltwater pool out back with traditional desert landscaping. As it’s a true piece of history, the last Wexler home isn’t expected to last long.