the desert bel air showcase home

indian wells, california

This home (Crank Garland House) is located at 75900 Fairway Drive, in Indian Wells (originally Palm Desert). It is a single-story residential building designed by modernist master architect, William F. Cody, FAIA, completed in 1961. The Desert Bel Air Showcase Home is an important example of a modernist structure, and it exhibits numerous character-defining features that place it within the historic context of the Coachella Valley’s modern period. The Desert Bel Air Showcase Home is within a residential neighborhood of Indian Wells and was originally Lot 4, Tract 2056, of Desert Bel Air Estates. The house directly opposes the entrance to the Eldorado Country Club, an upscale residential golf community developed in 1957. The most unique features of the Desert Bel Air Showcase Home are the entry reflecting pond with geyser fountain, kiva fireplace flanked by custom triangular glazing, and circular concrete pads on the driveway. Of significant importance is the relationship of the Developer, Fillmore Crank and his wife, actress Beverly Garland, with the residential development and this showcase home.

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southridge house

palm springs, california

Southridge is one of the most exclusive and historic estates in Palm Springs. Development on the steep hill began in the early 1960s. Its spectacular site overlooking the Coachella Valley spurred designers like John Lautner to create the area’s most dramatic properties: the legendary Bob Hope and Arthur Elrod houses. William F. Cody and Hugh Kaptur also designed homes there and the community attracted stars like Steve McQueen and William Holden. This home, originally designed by the local team of Patten & Wild is one of the first homes to be built in Southridge. It is a simple California ranch style with a hip roof and concrete shingles. Original breeze-blocks still wrap around the lower level, where the architect has created her studio. The house has been gutted internally and the floor plan has been reworked, removing a clumsy lower-level addition that detracted from the home’s outlook, re-siting pool equipment, and returning the property to its minimal design. The house embraces the landscape, blurring the boundaries of interior and exterior, with the exterior being equally important. “The best design goes unnoticed…the eye carries beyond the house.” The home had interiors more suited to Beverly Hills than the desert, so beige marble was removed in favor of poured terrazzo. A previously secluded kitchen now opens to the tremendous views. Bathrooms feature original vintage tile and are updated with new fittings and Dornbracht hardware that matches the Crane originals. The neutral color palette throughout provides a soft backdrop for classic midcentury furniture by Eames, Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe. Outside the landscape has also been reworked and simplified with desert plantings.