Architect Don Wexler's Steel Houses Keep Attracting Buyers

1960's design presents clean, simple, and modern appeal in north Palm Springs

Steel house No. 4 in north Palm Springs offers two bedrooms, two baths, den, pool, elevated spa, mountain views, and a private, generously-sized yard.

Lance Gerber photos


Clean, simple, modern.

Those are the characteristics which continue to attract owners to famed architect Don Wexler's steel homes in north Palm Springs.

In 1962, Wexler set out to build a tract of modern, all steel modular homes in the now-historic Racquet Club estates section of Palm Springs. In the end, only seven were constructed due to the rising cost of steel.

All seven homes have been designated as Class 1 Historic Sites by the City of Palm Springs, with House No. 2 added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2012 - one of the first midcentury homes in Palm Springs to be honored with that distinction.

Steel house No. 4 has recently hit the market offering two bedrooms, two baths, den, pool, elevated spa, mountain views, and a private, generously-sized yard. The 1477 square foot house is priced at $689,000, and is represented by Palm Springs based The Paul Kaplan Group.

“The current owners took to heart the historical significance of this home and created an elegant presentation of mid-century style with a few modern conveniences and elements," Kaplan says.

For example, Kaplan says the baths have been upgraded with modern fixtures that maintain the continuity of design without looking dated or outdated. The floors have been finished with gleaming travertine and upgraded light fixtures and appliances that blend well.

The home awash in white sits as testament to typical Wexler design philosophy: bright and airy, spacious rooms, and simple design elements that don’t conflict with the surroundings.

Wexler used expanded eaves to create deeply shaded areas over the windows to protect from the summer sun while letting light in during the winter months when the sun is lower on the horizon. Steel walls shield against sweeping desert winds while the use of native flagstone, rock and gravel create a water-saving desert pavement around well-placed plantings of hardy palms in deep-shaded atriums.

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