Alexander Construction Co. Palm Springs, CA

TK Smith

We never get tired of driving around Palm Springs looking at mid-century architecture. Last week I was feeling un-inspired so once again, TK suggested we go take some photos of both the Twin Palms and Las Palmas neighborhoods. I don’t know if it’s the timeless beauty of the clean, simple architecture against the beautiful desert backdrop, or the thrill of standing in a strangers front yard taking photos of their house like a stalker, but  as always, it was a mood changer.

Both neighborhoods are filled with homes built mostly in the late 1950’s and early 60’s by the Alexander Construction Company owned by George and Robert Alexander. The homes in Twin Palms were designed by the architectural firm of Palmer and Krisel for the developer, and the tract named as such because two palm tress were placed in each front yard. Las Palmas, also known as Vista Las Palmas, was developed in the late 50’s and became the neighborhood of choice for many celebrities like Kirk Douglas, Dinah Shore, Peter Lawford, Marilyn and many others. In fact, Robert Alexander moved from L.A. to Palm Springs in ’57 and lived in a Las Palmas home known as The House of Tomorrow which was later used in ’68 by Elvis and Pricilla as their honeymoon get-a-way. His father George already lived in the neighborhood.

There were a number of architects involved with the Alexanders in creating the look so associated with Palm Springs, including one of our favorite designs in Las Palmas, the Swiss Miss A-frame by Charles Dubois. Palmer and Krisel were also responsible for many of the homes in Las Palmas, along with architect Donald Wexler. We have written about Wexler in the past who designed many Palm Springs landmarks, including the Palm Springs airport.

Unfortunately George and his son, Robert, along with their wives, were killed when their Lear Jet en route to Burbank went down near Indio in 1965. Their legacy lives on in the neighborhoods and tracts that make Palm Springs the iconic mid-century mecca that remains today. Their work gives TK and I countless hours of entertainment in dreaming, conversation and inspiration!


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