NCMH Masters Gallery
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Enjoy browsing, but unless otherwise noted, these houses are private property and closed to the public -- so don't go tromping around uninvited.

ALBERT FREY (1903-1998)

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Frey received his architecture diploma in 1924 from the Institute of Technology in Winterthur, Switzerland. Frey apprenticed with the architect A. J. Arter in Zurich and worked in construction during school vacations.

From 1924 through 1928 Frey worked on a design project in Belgium then was the first American to get a position in the Paris office of architect Le Corbusier working on the Villa Savoye project among others. In 1928 Frey left for the the United States. He continued to maintain a friendship with Le Corbusier who helped him get a job with the American architect A. Lawrence Kocher, also the managing editor of Architectural Record.

One of their commissions was an office/apartment dual-use building for Kocher's brother, Dr. J. J. Kocher of Palm Springs. This project introduced Frey to the California desert, which was to become his home and the backdrop for most of his subsequent work.

From 1935 to 1937 Frey worked with John Porter Clark under the firm name of Van Pelt and Lind Architects as both were yet unlicensed in California. April 1937 saw Frey briefly return to work on the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1939 he and wife Marion returned to Palm Springs to resume his collaboration with Clark, which was to continue for nearly twenty more years. Frey and Marion divorced in 1945 and neither remarried.

At the end of World War II Palm Springs' population almost tripled, and the city experienced a building boom as an escape for Hollywood and a winter haven for east coast industrialists. The city became a resort community and Frey and Clark, and their staff including Robson Chambers, were well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. Significant buildings by Frey during this period include the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station, Palm Springs City Hall, Tramway Gas Station (now a visitor center).

Frey has become synonymous for "desert modernism." In 1996, he was awarded the Neutra Award for Professional Excellence, and in 2010 a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Bio adapted from Wikipedia. Many thanks to Catherine Westergaard Cramer for her extensive research.


1931 - aka the Aluminaire House. Designed for a New York City exhibition by Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher. This, the first metal prefab house, was assembled in ten days in the Grand Central Palace that was adjacent to Grand Central Station and opened on April 18th, 1931 for one week. Over 100,000 people toured. Henry Russel Hitchcock and Philip Johnson included the house in the Museum of Modern Art, “Modern Architecture; an international exhibition” in 1932.

Sold to architect Wallace K. Harrison who moved it to  Huntington NY for a guest house. After escaping demolition by a new owner in 1986, it was moved to the New York Institute of Technology, and after a number of years they transferred it to The Aluminaire House Foundation formed in 2010 to relocate it as a museum. In April 2012, the house was again dismantled and stored in a container in Ronkonkoma NY.

From 2011 to 2014, Campani and Schwarting Architects developed a site plan for the house to be located on a vacant lot at 39th Avenue and 50th Street. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission turned it down in 2014.  In 2016, Architecture Record designated Aluminaire as one of the 125 most significant structures in the world. In 2017 it was moved to Palm Springs.  Video of the move.


1935 - The James V. (Bud) and Mildred Guthrie House, 666 Mel Avenue, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Hennes. Sold to Leland Wood. Altered away from modern (bottom photo). Sold in 2015 to Robert Foraker and Loie Marie Adelaar.


1936 - The Edwin A. Halberg House, 723 East Vereda Sur, Palm Springs CA. Destroyed. A new house was built there in 1952.


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1936 - The Kellogg Studio, 321 West Vereda Sur, Palm Springs CA. Altered. Sold in 2015 to William and Eileen Barker.


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1937 - The Mason House, 448 Cottonwood Road, Palm Springs CA. Altered, became condominiums. Sold in 2012 to James Viglione. Needs verification and photo.


1939 - The Chaney Apartments, 275 East Tamarisk Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2015 to Jack Douglas Cretney and Joseph Michael Corbett.

1940 - The Hill House, 877 West Panorama Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Marilyn Hirshleifer and Hirshleifer Trust.


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1940 - The B. Johnson Bungalows, Palm Springs CA. Built. Do you know where they are?


1940 - The Albert Frey House I, 1150 Paseo El Mirador, Palm Springs CA. Additions by Frey in 1947 and 1953. Sold to the Armstrongs for whom Frey did a remodel in 1964. Sold in 1972 to the Goldmans with another addition by Frey. Second photo by Fritz Block. Destroyed in the late 1990's. The bottom photo is the new house built on the site in 1999.


1941 - The Julian Sieroty House, 695 East Vereda Sur, Palm Springs CA. Restored by Frey in 1989. Deeded to heirs, Alan Sieroty and Beth Sieroty Meltzer.


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1941 - The Fred and Maziebelle Markham House, 1850 Smoke Tree Lane, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. One of 85 houses in the neighborhood. Smoke Tree Ranch was a resort operation started in 1938 by the Markhams. In 1945 the development was sold to the residents who retained individual ownership of their homes and home sites.


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1941 - The F. D. Johnson House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Additions by Frey in 1973 and 1980.Do you know where it is?


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1942 - The Joeger House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


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1942 - The John and Fannie Hamrick House, 875 West Chino Canyon, Palm Springs CA. Designed with John Porter Clark.

Published in California Pictorial magazine in the spring 1942. Remodeled by Arthur Elrod in 1958. Sold in 2005 to Mark Puopolo and Christopher Mullen. Available for lease.


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1942 - The Overly House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Additions by Frey in 1947, 1968 and 1983. Do you know where it is?


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1944 - The Jacobson House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


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1944 - The Donald Gilmore House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1127 North Calle Rolph, Palm Springs, CA 92262

1127 North Calle Rolph Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2014 to Vacation Knosis.

1179 North Calle Rolph Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2012 to John and Linda Doyle.

1520 East Tachevah Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2014 to the Estate of Ronald Brian Cohen.

1945 - The Bel Vista War Housing, 1111, 1112, 1127, 1128, and 1133 North Calle Rolph Road (unrecognizable), 1163, 1193, 1194 1132, 1180 North Calle Rolph Road (alterations), 1149, 1179, 1132, 1180 North Calle Rolph Road, 1500 Paseo El Mirador (minor alterations), and 1520 East Tachevah Drive, Palm Springs CA. Culver Nichols was likely the developer.


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Around 1945 - The Villa Hermosa housing project. Built. Do you know where it is?


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1945 - The Laura Breske House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1945 - The Browne Development, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1945 - The Campbell House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


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1945 - The Raymond and Elizabeth K. Cree House I, 442 Hermosa Place, Palm Springs CA. Cree was a well known developer. Sold to Joseph Grabinor. Destroyed. 


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1945 - The Florshine House Alterations, 688 East Vereda Sur, Palm Springs CA.


Inline image

Main House

Guest House

1945 - The Hatton House and Guest House, Wonder Palms Road (now Frank Sinatra Drive), Rancho Mirage CA. Altered away from original design. Do you know the address?


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1945 - The Kemper House, addition, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1945 - The Mary Nelson House, Indio CA. Unbuilt. Mary Nelson sold two-seater Ercoupe airplanes and gave buyers free flying lessons. She served in WWII as one of the first Women's Air Force Service Pilots and later managed the Palm Springs Airport. In 1945, Frey bought a plane from her, which he sold a short time later.


1945 - The William and "Mousie" Powell House Addition, 383 East Vereda Norte, Palm Springs Later Frey alterations and additions in 1947, 1949, and 1951. Original house, not by Frey, was built circa 1935-36. The Powell's purchased it in 1941 and Mousie Powell lived there until her death in 1997. Sold in 2001 to Robert Scharfer and Sean Reid Fennelly.


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1945 - The Racquet Club Bungalows, 2743 North Indian Avenue, Palm Springs CA. Seven bungalows, designed by Frey within "the Mission Garden" have been restored and upgraded. The bungalow plan includes 2 bedrooms, living room, dining room with fireplace, eat-in kitchen and private yard. Started by actors (and tennis enthusiasts) Charlie Farrell and Ralph Bellamy in 1934, the Racquet Club grew to attract stars like Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Lana Turner and others. Around 1947, now Mayor Farrell ordered 35 more cottages along the banks of Netcher's Creek (which winds through the club's grounds). More cottages were added in 1956.


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1945 - The Strieby Apartments, 486-530 Mel Avenue, Palm Springs CA. Altered away from orignal design. Sold in 2004 to David Scott and Robert Lemley.

From information found, this is now listed as only 486 Mel Avenue and is known as Palm Springs Manor Hotel, an assisted living apartment complex. (addresses must have changed over the years as there are buildings in between, running up to and including 530, that appear to be apartments or small hotels. 530 is the POSH Boutique Hotel). Needs verification.


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1945 - The Stutz House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1945 - The Van Heusen House, Yucca Valley CA. Unbuilt.


856 East Paseo El Mirador, Palm Springs, CA 92262

1946 - The J. A. Woolley House, 856 Paseo El Mirador, Palm Springs, CA. Commissioned 1945. Sold in 2005 to Dennis Elsasser and Anthony Newland.


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1945 - aka Villa Hermosa, 155 Hermosa Avenue, Palm Springs CA. A collection of apartments stacked and grouped around a pool and recreational facilities. Three separate unit types were designed, with the final building consisting of a total of 21 studio-to-one bedroom apartments. The complex is a long, two-story, rectangular building flanked by two levels of individual units stacked haphazardly to create overhangs. Example photo of Unit 9, sold in 2016.


1946 - The Colgan Apartments, 269 Chuckwalla Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2010 to Alexander Korchmarev. Name changed to Villa Orleans. 15 units.


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1946 - The Cooper House, Little Araby, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?Little Araby is part of the Araby Cove neighborhood, which includes 81 houses. Located in South Palm Springs, it is bordered by the Araby Wash at its northern border and "rock houses" to the south. At its west edge is the Landsdale house, built for publisher William Landsdale, and to the east, the El Mirador modernist home built for George and Adele Norton.


1946 - The Raymond Loewy House, 600 West Panorama Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 1990 to James Gaudineer and Tony Padilla. There have been minor alterations. Top photo by Brad Dunning, second by Fritz Block, third featured in LIFE Magazine, fourth by Dan Chavkin.






1946 - The Andrew and Anna Jergens House, aka Graceland West, 845 West Chino Canyon, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 1960 to Ray Kroc. Sold in 1970 to Elvis Presley who expanded it by 2000sf and recorded 9 songs in the house. Deeded to Priscilla Presley upon his death. Sold in 1981 to singer Frankie Valli. Sold to a Japanese Elvis fan. Sold to Reno Fontana around 2003 who opened it up for tours. Went into foreclosure. Sold in 2014 to TCB Palm Springs.


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1946 - The McFarland Apartments, 409 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA. Altered. Address no longer exists. Needs verification.


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1946 - The Mary Nelson Guesthouse, Indio CA. Unbuilt.

1947 - The Rosenthal House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1947 - The Stutz Apartments, Palm Spring, CA. Unbuilt.

1948 - The Jennings House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1948 - The Wells House, Rancho Mirage CA. Unbuilt.


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1948 - The Cortissoz House, Sahara Road, Rancho Mirage CA. Do you know where it is?


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1948 - The Turner House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is? Frey also did additions in 1956 and 1986.


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1948 - The Lyons House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs, CA. Address unknown. The Lyons house was deemed "too modern" and Frey was banned from building there for almost 3 years.


1950 - The Louis Benoist Guest House, 385 Alta Vista Road, Palm Springs CA. Benoist was co-owner of Almaden Winery in Northern California from 1940-1967. The original house was designed in 1938 for Wright Ludington. Frey designed an addition in 1953 which was unbuilt. Sold to Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel in 1977. Sold in 2015 to Clifton G. Lamb. For sale in 2015.

 The guest house is a one-room studio with a bathroom and fireplace. Benoist loved the spirit of the guest house and the quality of light so much that he used the guest house for his office and rarely allowed guests to stay there. 


1950 - The Hugh Stephens House, 645 East Morongo, Palm Springs CA.


1951 - The Dollard House, Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA. Needs verification.


1951 - The Joy House, 73335 Grapevine Road, Palm Desert CA. Unsure of house number, needs verification.


 

1951 - The Pelletier House, 73297 Grapevine Street, Palm Desert CA. Sold to Michael Fedderly in 1996. Traditional design with unusual site, needs verification.


 

1951 - The Armand Turonnet House, 707-747 North Palm Canyon (rear), Palm Springs CA. Destroyed. Address needs verification.


 

1951 - The Irving Beecher House, 723 East Vereda Sur, Palm Springs CA. Possibly built in 1941, needs verification. Sold to Haalberg.


 

1954 - The C. K. Fulton House, aka Villa Hermosa, 155 West Hermosa Place, Palm Springs CA. 


 

 

1955 - The Raymond Cree House II, approximately Raymond Drive, Cathedral City CA. In 1947 Cree commissioned Frey to design the Desert Hills Hotel - a project of nine houses, on this same site. The house is constructed entirely of industrial materials except for the stone fireplace. It bore the Cree name at least until 1990. Current status unknown. Photos by Brad Dunning.


1956 - The Laura Carey House, aka the Carey-Pirozzi House, 651 West Via Escula, Palm Springs CA. Frey did alterations in 1983. Sold in 1972 to Vincent and Karen Pirozzi.


1957 - The Raymond Cree Site and Houses, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1959 - The Frelinghuysen House, 707 Panorama Road, Palm Springs CA. There were alterations then a restoration after 2000. Sold in 2012 to J & K Vacation Club California.


1959 - North Shore Beach Estates, North Shore, Salton Sea CA. Unbuilt. Frey did design a Sales Building (now altered) and Clubhouse for the community, although the clubhouse was not built to his original design.

1959 - The Ryan House, Bermuda Dunes, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


 

 

 

1960 - The Schiff House Addition, 2743 North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA. This is a condo unit in the Racquet Club. Photos by Brad Dunning.


1961 - The Clark House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey also did additions in 1965 and 1976.  Do you know where it is?


 

 

1962 - The Hugo Steinmeyer House, 318 Pablo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Ethel Vetterli. Photos by Brad Dunning.


1963 - The Albert Frey House II, 686 Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Frey did an addition in 1972. He lived there until his death in 1998 and bequeathed the house to the Palm Springs Art Museum for architectural learning and research. The house is open to visitors during Modernism Week and other special events. Photos by Jackie Craven.


1963 - The Hollingworth House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1963 - The Silliano House, Desert Hot Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1963 - The Henry Thornton House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey additions 1969 and 1971. Designed with Robson Chambers. Do you know where it is?


1964 - 318 West Pablo Drive, Palm Springs CA. 


 

1964 - The William Hollingsworth House, 155 West San Marcos Way, Palm Springs CA. Frey additions in 1972 and 1976. Has been altered. Sold to Billy Wayne Cross and Dennet M. Withington in 1999.


1964 - The F. E. Supple House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey additions 1967, 1976, 1978, 1986). This house is not listed in the Frey Collection. No houses in the collection in Smoke Tree Ranch for that date. Needs verification.


1966 - The Frank Brennan House Additions, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1966 - The Harold R. Newton House, Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1967 - The Burgess Guest House, 550 Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1967 - The Smoke Tree Ranch Condominiums, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.

1967 - The Harold R. Newton House, 698 Ramon Road, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt. 

1968 - The Schiff Ranch House, La Quinta CA. Unbuilt. The Frey collection has the 1968 house for Schiff as a house and racquet club addition at 2743 Indian Canyon Way, La Quinta. This was actually an addition for their home in Palm Springs, same address, done in 1960. In 1968 Frey designed a ranch house on a flat parcel in La Qunita, about 40 minutes outside of Palm Springs. There was to be a main house, separate guest house, and several pavilions. The home was never built.


1970 - The Merwin House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1973 - The Moore House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey did more additions and alterations 1979, 1983, and 1986. Possibly Garry Moore, the game show host. Needs verification.


1973 - The Wasserman House, Palm Springs CA. Interior only. Unbuilt.


1974 - The Roy Ryan House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1975 - The Shane House Addition, 501 Sana Rosa Drive, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1977 - The Hefferlin House Addition, 395 South Patencio Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold to the Beirnes who commissioned the addition. Original 1962 house designed by Richard Wheeler in 1961. Sold in 2006 to Brent Harris. Reimagined by Brad Dunning, 2006-2013. Landscape architecture by Robert Royston (2007-2009). Photos by Brad Dunning.


1977 - The Lilley House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey did another addition in 1979. Do you know where it is?


1977 - The Phinney Guest House and Studio, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1977 - The Terhune House Addition, 2300 Palermo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Frey did additions in 1978 and 1986; guesthouse in 1978 (unbuilt). Sold in 2001 to Thomas Digiammatteo and Daniel Nicodemo.


1978 - The William J. Rose Addition, 1053 East San Lucas Road, Palm Springs CA. Original house was 1950. As of 2015, still owned by the Rose family.


1979 - The Hankins House Renovations, 840 Prescott Drive, Palm Springs CA. Paul Laszlo was the original architect. Sold in 1943 to John Hormel. Sold to the Hankins. Sold in 2002 to Stephen and Penny Gundry. Sold in 2005 to Nancy Bjerkman, Kathryn and Kyle Corwin. Sold in 2010 to Laurence Weiss. Sold in 2012 to Richard Oboyle.


1979 - The Hoffman House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1979 - The Stanley Rawn House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1980 - The Bryant House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1980 - The Russell House Addition, 670 Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1980 - The Stanley Phinny House, 1800 South Sunrise Way, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Project, unbuilt. This is not listed in the online collection and is listed as only a project in the Rosa book. This is a standard address in Smoke Tree Ranch. Ninety-three homes are listed with this address. Smoke Tree Ranch is listed as 1850 Smoke Tree Lane and is almost a mile away. Real estate sites show several different homes at this address, with many of them designed or remodeled by Frey.


1981 - The Ralph and Ruthmarie Harpham Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1983 - The Burgess Guesthouse, 550 Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1983 - The Lawrence House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


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1983 - The Douglas Russell House Addition, aka Siva House, 660 Palisades Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sunshade addition. Later addition in 1984. Orginally designed in 1959 by Hugh Kaptur. Sold to Robert Halliday. Sold to Michael Russell in 2004. Sold in 2012 to Bud Golditch. Sold later in 2012 to Mark and Elizabeth Ostoich.


1983 - The Yantis House Addition, 296 Hermosa Place, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Carl Bradley in 2013. Original home was built in 1954. Albert Frey redesigned the home which included enlarging the now 1200 square foot master suite with 2 marble baths, stone fireplace, and built in cabinetry. Frey also designed the bar in the living room which features a pass thru window to serve from and to view the flat screen TV, while enjoying the patio outdoors. Upgraded in 2006.


1983 - The Yates House Remodel, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1983 - The Wilson House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Frey did another addition in 1986. Do you know where it is?


1105 E Cactus Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264

1985 - The Bauman Renovation, 1105 Cactus Drive, Palm Springs CA. Remodeled again in 2006. Sold in 2015 to Andrew Teufel.


1985 - The Broderick House Addition, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


1985 - The Firring House Addition, 2065 South Tulare Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2012 to Todd Plath.


1985 - The Green House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


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1985 - The John Martin (Jack) Shea House Addition, 1690 Ridgemore Drive, Palm Springs CA. Addition. Sold in 1997. Sold in 2011 to John Boccardo.Original house built in 1975. Frey lists show this address as 160 Ridgemore, which doesn't exist.


1985 - The Tyler House Addition, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Do you know where it is?


1986 - The Harold and Dorothy Meyerman Mirrored Pavillion Addition, aka Bougain Villa, Palm Springs California. Original house was designed in 1958 by William Burgess and Hugh Kaptur.






1997 - The Brad Dunning, Tom Ford, and Jim Moore House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt. Each person wanted the same small guest house design for three properties in different parts of the country. They asked Frey to design something he always wanted to do but hadn’t ever been able to with his trademark materials and philosophy. Above photo is of a model. This was the last house Frey designed.