Albert Frey was the father of the Desert Modernism style and one of the small handful of architects responsible for Palm Springs's sexy mid-century look (he designed the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway station, the Tramway Gas Station, Palm Springs City Hall, and the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club at the Salton Sea). Last week we visited his Frey II House, the second of two houses he built for himself in the city. Frey picked out an incredible spot on the side of a mountain (just above what's now known as the Palm Springs Art Museum) and was after a very specific sight line leading out west in the direction of the airport. The city didn't want him doing any excavation at the site, which is why the little (800 square foot) house has a boulder protruding into its living/bedroom.
All of the furniture, including a record player, is built in. (Eventually, Frey's girlfriend would demand that he add a little addition, which we did not tour.)
The house is currently owned by the Palm Springs Art Museum and, since Frey stipulated that it should be used as a residence, inhabited by the museum's CFO (Be a little jealous, but know that there's no red wine allowed in the house.). The house is not often open, but there'll be a series of tours during Modernism Week this February.
· Modernism Week [Official Site]
· Touring the Mid-Century Modern Bank That Will House the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center [Curbed LA]
Disclosure: The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism hosted our trip to PS.