William Krisel-Designed Home Built to Fit Pie-shaped Lot

Midcentury masters were behind Valley of the Sun Estates tract

Lawrence Karol Modernism 0 Comments


Coachella Valley residents often lay claim to living in the “Valley of the Sun.”

However, the people who reside on Sandsal Circle and Sandsu Circle in Rancho Mirage literally do.

Their neighborhood is where developers Maus & Holstein built a small subdivision, Valley of the Sun Estates, with homes designed by midcentury masters William Krisel and Dan Palmer. According to Krisel, Maus owned the land and Holstein was the partner-builder. Holstein was also one of the original developers of Krisel’s Sandpiper community in Palm Desert.


This midcentury home, designed by Dan Palmer and William Krisel in 1958, was custom-built to fit its pie-shaped lot.


“The houses at the end of the cul-de-sac on both Sandsu and Sandsal were custom designed to fit the pie-shaped lots at the end of the ‘bulb,’” says Krisel. “The remaining houses in the tract are basically the Twin Palms plans and elevations. Su and Sal are the names of the developer’s daughters.”

The custom-designed plans are known as Model B-4 and only two were ever built. One of those houses, 36400 Sandsal Circle, is currently on the market for $849,000.


The dining room overlooks the pool and spa. The kitchen features custom walnut cabinetry and quartz countertops, along with DCS and Samsung appliances.


“One of the most interesting architectural features of the house is the Shed-Sunflap roofline that Krisel says comes from the front, through the house, and out the rear bringing the indoors and outdoors together,” says the listing agent, Neil Curry of Windermere Real Estate.

“The only changes to the interior are a kitchen entrance door and wall that was modified to accommodate a new 21st-century kitchen design open to the living room, and the master closet was adjusted to make room for a larger master bath suite,” adds Curry. “Otherwise the home is in its original footprint.”


The outdoor dining area, with Palmer and Krisel’s classic Shed-Sunflap roofline in the background.


The main house, which was completed in 1958, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It features an open living/dining room with tall angled wood beam ceilings, clearstory windows, and a gourmet kitchen with a large breakfast room that looks out to the pool and backyard. There’s also a detached casita that serves as a guest suite/pool house and has a full bath.

Curry says Maus and Holstein concluded that Palmer and Krisel’s Valley of the Sun Estates tract, “displayed the hopefulness and easy lifestyle of Modernism in the 1950s.” And, he adds, “That statement still rings true today.”

36400 Sandsal Circle, Rancho Mirage; Neil Curry Realtor, Windermere Real Estate, 760-285-2349


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