Arthur Elrod once worked at Bullock’s in Palm Springs in the 1940s. However, after a business stint took him to San Francisco, Elrod returned to Palm Springs in 1954 along with business partner Harold “Hal” Broderick to begin his role in transforming the desert town into an architectural paradise.
Elrod would launch his firm on Palm Canyon Drive and hire design geniuses like Steve Chase, William Raiser, and Bob Hammerschmidt. Elrod purchased his first Palm Springs home in 1955 on Valmonte Sur, but it was his second home on West Via Lola where he demonstrated his genius.
That four-bedroom, five-bath home is now for sale, sitting just around the corner from the home owned by Leonardo Di Caprio and just down the street from the historic Kirk Douglas house. The 4,78 square foot home was previously owned by William and Francis Hamling. William, a writer, publisher, and First Amendment crusader had five cases heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Via Lola is the most complete Elrod home that exists,” says Adele Cygelman in an interview that appeared in the January 2019 issue of Palm Springs Life. Cygelman is author of Arthur Elrod: Desert Modern Design, which details Palm Springs’ most influential interior designer.
“Via Lola is pivotal,” Cygelman says in the article. “It’s where he (Elrod) started to experiment with all the different textures and finishes that he became known for. He was also big on very long, sinuous sofas,” often custom-made by the Prentice Company and Martin Brattrud.
Known as Elrod’s “Escape” House, the property has been well preserved by owners Deborah (Hamling) Ball and her husband Bob, who took over stewardship of the home from Deborah’s parents in 2014. They have been offering the home as a vacation rental to midcentury modern fans. A tour of the home was also part of a collection of events honoring Elrod at Modernism Week in 2019.
Situated in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, an area steeped in history and former celebrity households, the entrance to the home features 12-foot double doors adorned with brass turned pulls. The living room has 14-foot ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, while the dining room can seat eight guests at the 8-foot- white cork table. There is a primary kitchen and a second prep/butler’s kitchen.
Outdoor entertainment is easily accomplished thanks to a covered area poolside where guests can enjoy the view or easily slip into the in-ground pool.
Listing price: $2,495,000
350 W. Via Lola, Palm Springs
Keller Williams Luxury Homes
435 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760-774-6619 (cellphone); 760-322-2286 (office)