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Worth the Wait

A vintage Alexander home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs has come on the market for the first time in over 40 years.

Lawrence Karol Current Digital, Home & Design, Real Estate

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"The raised circular driveway makes it feel like an estate, while maintaining an old Americana vibe," says realtor Jesse Huskey. "It feels like something out of The Wonder Years."
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PATRICK KETCHUM

Palm Springs is dotted with enclaves of midcentury homes and, for many residents, one of the centers of the midcentury universe is Vista Las Palmas. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more difficult to find properties that haven’t been altered over time by ill-advised renovations. That’s exactly why this vintage home, built in 1959 by the Alexander Construction Company, stands out.

“Personally, I just love the history,” says Jesse Huskey, the realtor handling the $1,399,000 listing. “The idea that those same terrazzo floors have remained in place through the moon landing, the Civil Rights Movement, the fall of the Berlin Wall . . . I feel like they hold a piece of history within them.” Some of the other original interior details include mirrored walls, the stone fireplace, and open-beam ceilings.

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Huskey also notes that at 2,750 square feet, with four bedrooms, and three bathrooms, the home is larger than many other Alexanders. (Between 1955 and 1965, the Alexanders built over 2,200 houses in the Coachella Valley.) And it sits on over one-third of an acre — a generous lot size for the area — which provides ample space in both the front and back yards.

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Renee Maler and her older brother grew up in the house and the crystal doorknobs were always one of her favorite features.

The home has been in the family of Renee Maler for over 40 years. Her parents, Tom and Irene Shupe, moved to Palm Springs in 1971 after Tom retired from the military. After living in the Araby neighborhood for five years, Irene spotted this house on a quiet cul-de-sac and knew it was perfect for their family, which included Renee and her older brother. Over the years, “They only changed cosmetic things because they loved it the way it was and wanted to keep it true to its time,” says Maler. “My Dad felt it was his ‘castle’ and he cherished every day there.”

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Vintage wallpaper in the kitchen.

Maler’s parents were also an integral part of the Palm Springs community. Her mother’s shop, Irene’s Antiques Etc., sold vintage jewelry and collectibles and Maler says that it was a favorite haunt of celebrities such as Victoria Principal, Michael Jackson, Sam Shepherd, and Jim Henson. Tom worked for the Employment Development Department and helped to create over 30,000 jobs during his several-decade career with the agency.

“Growing up here was an experience that most people could never dream of,” says Maler. “But the way my parents lived was so unique it affected all of us in huge ways.”

The home they chose was just as unique. “The lot is interesting because it’s elevated,” notes Huskey. “So you feel like you’re floating above the homes around you. This makes for some terrific unobstructed views [of the San Jacinto Mountains] and is perfect for protecting your privacy.”

He adds that there are only a few cul-de-sacs in Vista Las Palmas — the most famous one, just down the block, is Ladera Circle where the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway is located. “When you round the corner [onto Granito Circle and see this house] it feels like you’ve time traveled back 60 years to when Palm Springs was Hollywood’s secret playground.”

1300 North Granito Circle, Palm Springs

For more information, contact Jesse Huskey, Realtor, jesse.huskey@compass.com, 760-668-8933, 74199 El Paseo Drive, Suite 200, Palm Desert.

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A 1966 Desert Sun classified ad for the home captures the glamour of the era.

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The over-one-third-acre lot has a large backyard along with a great view of Dry Falls and the North Lykken Trail portion of the San Jacinto Mountains.