George Alexander is a household name in Palm Springs, CA—in more ways than one. Along with his son, Robert Alexander, he founded the Alexander Construction Company, which built over 2,000 homes in the Coachella Valley from 1955 to 1965.
When you chat up local architects or history buffs, they’ll often point to the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood. That’s where Alexander built many homes designed by Don Palmer and William Krisel of Palmer & Krisel (known for their A-frame “Swiss Misses”) and Charles DuBois (celebrated for his butterfly-roof design).
However, what makes this particular three-bedroom, two-bath ranch unique is Alexander’s signature on the knotty-pine ceiling in one of the bedrooms.
On the market for $1,695,000 and built in 1959, the 2,000-square-foot home has had the same owner since 1997, says listing agent Shaun Waters of Berkshire Hathaway HomeService. The current owner purchased the place for $220,000 a couple of decades ago.
As for the penmanship on the ceiling?
Waters explains that typically, when the architects signed the wood, as a note to the builders, it was going to be used on a temporary basis.
In this case, the knotty pine, complete with the builder’s autograph, remains intact on the ceiling in the master bedroom.
Seeking to downsize, the current owner of this cool house, with its colorful lime-green and orange paint trim and stone exterior walls, isn’t leaving a buyer with a laundry list of things to do. Renovations are in place and ready for a new owner to enjoy.
“Most of the major work that’s taken place has been between 2010 and 2017,” says Waters.
An expanded kitchen and dining area is one improvement, marked by a large island with white marble walls and gold drawer pulls, along with a dishwasher, sink, and cabinetry.
Pendant lights hang overhead, and foldable doors connect the space seamlessly with the outdoors.
“Homes back then were typically more sectioned-off,” says Waters. “Now we feature kitchens.”
An original stone fireplace is a highlight in the living room. Both of the bathrooms have unusual tile schemes—a shiny yellow-green in one, paired with purple walls and coastal-inspired blues in another.
Fans of Alexander designs will note that the windows throughout are larger than they typically are, which, Walters says,“allow more natural light.”
Two of the three bedrooms feature beamed ceilings and clerestory windows, coaxing in even more light.
Outdoor spaces are a desert delight, including a pool area, pergola, and covered porch, currently used as outdoor dining and lounging space. Connected to the master bedroom is a private courtyard, along with sizable closet space.
Pedigree aside, the ranch style and open layout will make the property attractive to buyers in search of an arid getaway.
“They’re just good, solid easy-to-live-in, very functional floor plans,” says Waters.
The Vista Las Palmas neighborhood boasts a few other notable homes. The “House of Tomorrow,” designed by Robert Alexander, sits just down the street, and it’s where Elvis Presley honeymooned with his new wife, Priscilla.
“It was a playground for the stars in the 1960s,” says Waters. “Everyone seemed to leave the Movie Colony and move into Vista Las Palmas.”
What type of buyer is Waters targeting?
“This is going to be for a full-time resident,” he says. “This home is set with all-new solar [as well as] all-new systems to promote energy efficiency.”
Whether retired or young, he’s noticed an influx of buyers from Los Angeles.
“We’re seeing a lot of Angelenos purchase property in the Joshua Tree area, as a total escape from the hustle and bustle of the city,” says Waters.
For a buyer seeking midcentury authenticity, you can’t ask for much more than this autographed Alexander.