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Albert Frey’s Cree House in Palm Springs Arrives on the Market for $1.85M

Albert Frey’s Cree House is relatively small, but it’s huge in terms of midcentury modern architectural significance.

After a masterful restoration, the iconic home is now on the market for $1.85 million.

Built in 1956, it sits on a hillside view lot on the border between Palm Springs and Cathedral City. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,124-square-foot home was intentionally designed to fit into and complement the hillside,

However, the hillside wasn’t initially sought as a home site.

In 1947, the site’s owner, Raymond Cree, a former school superintendent who became a real estate developer, hired Frey to build a stylish boutique resort on the property. Frey drew up remarkable plans for the facility, but the resort was never built.

Instead, Cree had Frey design a more humble midcentury masterpiece, which Cree moved into at age 82.

Albert Frey’s Cree House near Palm Springs, CA

Cree House

Since it was built in 1956, only a few owners have followed Cree.

The home, a true oasis, is supported by distinctive steel pipe columns and features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the desert below.

Steel-pipe column supports

The most recent owner inherited the property from his father and remembered visiting it as a child. He’s spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort to restore the home, and even its appliances, to their original glory.

Case in point: a fascinating GE refrigerator, artfully disguised as three kitchen cabinets hanging over the Formica kitchen counter.

Kitchen with horizontal refrigerator

General Electric manufactured this distinctive fridge in the 1950s as a novelty luxury. In addition to copper, it also came in teal and pink.

To restore the horizontal appliance to working condition, a machinist was hired to rebuild the refrigerator compressor. A local auto repair shop repainted the enamel door panels, and a plastics expert rebuilt the plastic shelves inside.

It’s now restored to its Atomic Age glory, and it would be difficult to find another fridge like it anywhere else in the world.

In the listing photos, you’ll also notice a device in the kitchen with a porthole. It is not a washing machine, but a Western Holly gas oven, also restored.

Kitchen with restored appliances

The vast majority of the interior wood paneling was also removed and restored.

Restored wood paneling

Master bedroom

The vibrant yellow fiberglass panels that wrap the spacious outdoor deck that extends off the living room have also been restored to their original condition.

They were built using state-of-the-art industrial materials seven decades ago, and were considered quite artistic and cutting-edge at the time.

Deck with yellow fiberglass surround Deck off the living room

Another of the home’s highlights is a stone fireplace built from rocks found on the property, which extends through the floor and anchors the house to the hillside. Frey carefully thought through every detail to make sure it was aesthetically pleasing.

Stone fireplace

For a buyer with an eye on the future, there’s still roomz for complementary additions on the 8.28-acre lot.

A pool and spa perhaps? An equally stylish guesthouse? The desert sky is the limit.

Side yard offers room to grow

Frey was born in Switzerland and studied architecture throughout Europe. He eventually settled in Palm Springs, where he designed iconic buildings including Palm Springs Aerial Tramway buildings and the Palm Springs City Hall, as well as several classic midcentury modern Palm Springs residences.

The post Albert Frey’s Cree House in Palm Springs Arrives on the Market for $1.85M appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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