Palm Springs; the name alone makes me eager to hear more. I was there a few years ago and was amazed and excited by some of the best architecture ever. It’s heydays were the years the Rat Pack setting up shop there. They commissioned renowned architects like Albert Frey, Raymond Loewy or Richard Neutra to design their weekend retreats. But a true gem that recently hit the market suggests the 60’s saw some exiting design too.
Rotating desert home
It was built by Floyd D’Angelo. Owner of the Aluminum Skylight and Specialty Corporation. For the design D’Angelo partnered up with his friend, aerospace engineer Henry Conrey. The house was built as a vacation home, and to showcase some of the products manufactured by D’Angelo’s company. It looks terribly dated inside, and lacks the usual 60’s flair. But it’s a rare find. the realtor claims it’s just one a very few fully rotating homes ever built.
It’s yours for $279,000.
Inside the rotating home
On a recent trip to California we stopped in the Rat Pack’s playground; Palm Springs. This desert oasis was an ideal escape for the stars to flee Lala land for the weekend. Also, Hollywood studio’s often had offices and lots in the desert and contracts required the stars to live within easy reach of their work. To avoid having to take the drive back and forth every week many stars decided to buy property there. In many cases commissioning famous architects like Albert Frey, Raymond Loewy or Richard Neutra to design lavish bungalows or retreats. At the same time, the US economy and post WW II optimism caused for Americans to take their shiny cars and exploring their country’s back routes. Palm Springs was a popular destination resulting in demand for affordable lodging. Many motels sprung up, and, along with many of the private homes built back then, are still there to see for todays visitor. This makes Palm Springs heaven for those admiring mid 20th century architecture.
While there I took a tour of some of the most stunning examples of architecture from this era.
Kendrick Bangs Kellogg's Chart House restaurant
Front of building
Palm Springs visitors center. Originally designed as a gas station by Albert Frey
Kaufmann house, designed by Richard Neutra
Royal Sun Inn hotel, architect unknown to me (anyone?)
Albert Frey's Palm Springs City Hall, detail