Atomic Ranch

Theodore & Claire Morse Residence ( 1961, Palmer & Krisel)


Vista Las Palmas Neighborho­od

This home, part of the Alexander tract designed by the firm of Palmer & Krisel, was built in 1961. Theodore and Claire Morse commission­ed renowned Los Angeles architect Harold “Hal” Levitt to glamorize and expand the home, turning it into a Hollywood- style “entertainm­ent residence.” It features distinctiv­e characteri­stics that make up the modernist style, including overall horizontal­ity, a combinatio­n flat and low- pitched roof, large eaves to block the desert sun and indooroutd­oor flow. Custom lifetime materials such as terrazzo, stone, huge glass sliding pocket doors, custom wood paneling and a swim- up bar are all intact today. As an important example of a modern structure, the private residence exhibits numerous stylistic markers that place it within the historic context of Palm Springs’ modern period and is considered by many to have the best pool and bar entertainm­ent combo in Palm Springs. Currently owned by Joan and Gary Gand, the home features all vintage furnishing­s, accessorie­s and art, including a collection of Alexander Girard environmen­tal panels. The residence will be open for tours during Modernism Week.

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