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.

DONALD ALLEN WEXLER, FAIA (1926-2015)

Born in Sioux Falls ND and raised in Minneapolis MN, served in the Navy during WWII, and  graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1950. He moved to Los Angeles and worked for Richard Neutra then moved to Palm Springs in 1952 to work for William Cody

 In 1952, Wexler, along with Richard Harrison from Cody’s firm, set up Wexler & Harrison, photo above. In 1960, the George Alexander Construction Company contracted Wexler and Harrison to design an innovative neighborhood of all-steel homes at the then northern edge of Palm Springs. Due to the rising costs of steel, the project was halted after just seven homes were built. These innovative factory-fabricated, site-assembled steel houses combined prefabricated components with standard construction methodology and are now internationally acclaimed. That partnership dissolved amicably in 1961, and Wexler went on his own.  At the same time, he owned Wexler and Perrin-Boggio Architects and Engineers.  From 1969 to 2000 he was back on his own.  WWCOT (Widom, Wein, Cohen, O'Leary, and Terasawa) acquired Wexler's firm in 2000.

Wexler practiced in Palm Springs for almost six decades with a body of work that included houses, schools, hotels, banks and the Palm Springs International Airport. He was one of the first architects to building an entire house subdivision out of steel framing.  

His archives are at the Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design. He was honored on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2008.




1954 - The Joe Pawling House I, aka Lilliana Gardens, 230 Lilliana Drive, Palm Springs CA. BW photo by Dan Shavkin. Sold to 2016 Marduk (Duke) A. and Zsuzsi Sayad.


1954 - The Joe Pawling House II, aka Lilliana Gardens, 231 Lilliana Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Rosemarie Vacano.


1954 - The Robert (Bob) Howard and Andrea Leeds House I, aka Leeds-Howard House I, 515 Via Lola, Palm Springs CA. Sold around 1956 to Kirk and Anne Douglas. Douglas expanded the living area around 1976 to add a formal dining room. Kitchen remodeled in 1980. Sold in 1999 to Todd Jenkins and Timothy Dietrich.  Sold in 2016 to Michael Budman and  architect Diane Bald.

According to the Desert Sun,"Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy carried on an affair there. Frank Sinatra occasionally cooked meals in the kitchen. And when the house behind it belonged to Dinah Shore, the families installed a gate between their properties so they and their guests could travel back and forth."


1955 - The Donald and Lynn Wexler House, 1272 East Verbena Drive, Palm Springs CA. Wexler did additions in 1965 and 2007. Sold several times, including to Alice Alioto and Daniel Giles. Restoration by architect Lance O'Donnell.  Sold in 2016 to Joe Mantello.


 

1957 - The Maurice Smith House, 332 West Pablo Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold to William and Lillian A. Pfisterer.


1957 - The Ted Leff House, aka the Leff/Florsheim House, 362 West Via Sol, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Harold Florsheim.  Sold to Armstrong.  Sold in 2016 to Eric Carlson and Jonathan Eaton. Top photo by Dan Chavkin.


1958 - The Royal Air Properties Luxury Apartments, west end of Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs CA. The first apartment went up in March 1957. Destroyed. 


1958 - 1366 Calle Rolph, Palm Springs CA.


1959 - The Robert (Bob) Howard and Andrea Leeds House II, aka Leeds-Howard House II, 375 Via Lola, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Sidney and Alexandra Sheldon who removed the Modernist features with a mishmash of renovations.  Sold to Kevin Lane and Matthew (Shev) Rush, who accidentally discovered its Wexler roots and did a complete Modernist restoration.


 

1959 - aka Deepwell Estates, aka The Zen House, 1344 South Calle de Maria, Palm Springs CA. Sometimes listed as 1366 or 1368. Sold to Avi Levi. Sold in 2014 to the Kirkwood family.


1959 - The Royal Hawaiian Estates Condominiums, encompassing East Twin Palms Drive, South Palm Canyon Drive, and Canyon Rock Road, Palm Springs CA. 40 units, 12 buildings. Development was created for Jewish seniors. Above representative unit: The Philip Short Condo, 1774 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA. Short was the developer.  Sold to Richard A. Morris in 2005.  Sold in 2015 to Eric Johnston.


3690 East Avenida Fey Norte, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2013 to Libby Christopher.

1633 Via Roberto Miguel, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2014 to Moore Marchant Investments.

 

3467 East Paseo Barbara, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2015 to Jimmie Overton.

1960 - The El Rancho Vista Estates, encompassing East Avenida Fey Norte, Via Roberto Miguel, East Paseo Barbara, and El Camino Rojas, Palm Springs CA. Designed with Harrison. Developed for Roy Fey. About 70 homes and three basic floor plans, although the tract has more of a custom home feel due to alternating elevations, rooflines, and use of decorative concrete block. The houses above are representative of the development.


 

1960 - The Roy Fey Spec House, 615 Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Michael Huard and Steven Winckler.


1960 - The Roy Fey Spec House, 755 Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2014.


1960 - The Roy Fey Spec House, 681 Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Lisa Carlomagno.


1960 - The Roy Fey Spec House, 620 North Camino Real, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2012 to Michael Gendler and Nan Johnson.


 

1960 - The Roy Fey Spec House, aka the Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh House, 641 North Camino Real, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2010 to Mark Harris and Kate Williamson.


 

1960 - 71048 Country Club Drive, aka None Such Road, Rancho Mirage CA. Sold to H. D. Wright. Sold in 2015 to Michael Alexonis and Hope Garrison. One of ten homes on Country Club Drive, Morningsprings Road, Morningside Drive, and Early Times Road designed around a communal swimming pool. 



1960 - 71049 Early Times Road, Rancho Mirage CA. Sold to Lawrence B. Chrysler. Sold in 2015. One of ten homes on Country Club Drive, Morningsprings Road, Morningside Drive, and Early Times Road designed around a communal swimming pool. 


 

1960 - The Bernard and Adele Perlin, 1044 Montego Drive, Los Angeles CA. Still owned by the Perlin Trust as of 2014.





Around 1960 - The Steel House, 1230 Mason Street, Las Vegas NV.  Photo by Brad Dunning.











1960 - 79890 Kingston Drive, Bermuda Dunes CA

1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 1 of 7, 290 East Simms Road, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961.  Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 2013 to John C. Manly.


1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 2 of 7, 3100 Sunny View Drive, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961.  Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 1993 to James William Moore.


 

1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 3 of 7, 3125 Sunny View Drive, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961. Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 2006 to Brian William McGuire.


 

1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 4 of 7, 3133 Sunny View Drive, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961.  Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 2014 to David P. Salinger and James W. Longtin.


 

1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 5 of 7, 3165 Sunny View Drive, Palm Springs CA.  Commissioned 1961. Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold to Douglas Keeve and Mary Ann Webster.


 

1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 6 of 7, 300 Molino Road, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961. Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 2007 to Thomas Carnase and Claire Victor.


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1962 - aka Wexler Steel House 7 of 7, 330 Molino Road, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1961. Partnering with The Alexander Construction Company, Wexler developed an elegant and affordable steel design for a tract neighborhood in Palm Springs. Bernard Perlin was the engineer. Sold in 1997 to James Isermann.


1962 - The Compton Apartment Development, Compton CA. Unbuilt. A project with I. J. Kahn and Associates.


1964 - The Maurice and Dinah Shore Smith House, 432 West Hermosa Place, Palm Springs CA. Built for actress/singer Dinah Shore and her husband.  Sold in 2002 to David Lee. Restored by D. Crosby Ross in 2005. Sold in 2011 to Ben and Jude Lipps. Sold in 2014 to Malibu Colony Pch Properties, a trust owned by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Top photo by Glen Wexler. Available for rent.


1964 - The Leisure Life Village, 6127 Erlanger Street, San Diego CA.  Originally started by architect William Krisel.  Builder and developer, Irvin J. Kahn.  248 single story steel apartment homes designed for active adults.  Destroyed in 2009 to make way for the 368-unit Cresta Bella Apartments.  


5355 East Lakeside Drive, Palm Springs CA.

2455 South Pebble Beach, Palm Springs CA.

1964 - The Green Fairway Estates, built by the Alexander Construction Company, 5300 Block of East Lakeside Drive and the 2400 Block of South Pebble Beach Drive, Palm Springs CA. 35 homes, all Wexler's design.  Two representative houses, above.




1966 - 210 East Arenas Road, Palm Springs CA.

1967 - aka the AISI house, aka the Style in Steel House, 5280 Buck Hill Avenue, Buena Park CA. Designed for the Ray A. Watt Co., U. S. Steel, and American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Sold to George Daly. BW photos by Julius Shulman. Sold in 2006 to Young J. Paik. 


1968 - The Garden Apartments, Indio CA. Unbuilt. Project for Hight Construction Company.

1969 - Two Bunch Palms Condominiums, Desert Hot Springs CA. Unbuilt. Project for Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson.


 

1969 - The Michael and Barbara Heathman House, 633 South La Mirada, Palm Springs CA.  Renovated by Wexler in 1987. Sold to Robert Kaplan in 1996.


1971 - The Howard Richmond House, Rancho Mirage CA. Unbuilt. Commissioned 1969.


 

1972 - aka the Sagewood Condominiums, block encompassing East Sandalwood, North Sunrise Way, North Cerritos, and East Chia Road, Palm Springs CA. Project for Kaufman and Broad. 108 units with carports or shared garages, 3 bedroom/2 bath, 2 bedroom/2 bath. Representative unit, 2092 Sandalwood Drive, Palm Springs CA. 2 br/2 ba. Sold to Alan Hymowitz. Sold in 2015 to Jeffrey Acidera.


1973 - The Twin Springs Condominiums, 2696 South Sierra Madre, Palm Springs CA. 40-unit complex of 2 bedroom/2 bath condos. The original unit is still owned by its first owner, Sue Braun, as of 2015.


1977 - The Rancho Estates Condominiums, Vista del Sol, Rancho Mirage CA.  Needs verification.


1979 - The Rose Garden Condominiums, East Baristo Road at Tiffany Circle, Palm Springs CA. Project for H. Kassinger Development Co. Unit above is 1335 South Tiffany Circle, Palm Springs CA.


1979 - The H. Kassinger House, Thunderbird Heights, Rancho Mirage CA.


 

1981 - The Cecil P. Jones House, 899 Tamarisk Road, Palm Springs, CA. Wexler also did 1976 and 1981 additions. Still in the Jones family as of 2014.


1983 - The La Quinta Condominiums, La Quinta CA. Unbuilt.



 

2007 - The Marc Sanders House, aka the Sanders/Krizman House, 1234 Verbena Drive (formerly 1234 Hermosa), Palm Springs CA.  Commissioned in 2001.  Located near Wexler's own residence.  Construction took six years, during which time it was sold twice, first to Robert T. Butler, and in 2002 to Anne Krizman.  Sold in 2011 to Tod Abrams.  Sold in 2015 to Kim Kuehner.


 

2003 - The Allen Miller/Tropicana Townhomes, 750-B Prescott Drive, Palm Springs CA. Sold to Neal Sabin in 2010.  Commissioned 2001.  Four small post-and-beam homes in Old Las Palmas.


2015 - The Marc Sanders House, aka Steel and Glass 2015, 1155 East Granvia Valmonte, Palm Springs CA.  Plans were drawn by Wexler and finalized less than two months before the architect died in June 2015.  Designed with architect Lance O'Donnell. Built by Better Built Inc.  Sold in 2016.


Sources include: Morris Newman, Catherine Westergaard Cramer, psmodcom.org, City of Palm Springs Survey.