Fun Facts About Vista Las Palmas

See why Vista Las Palmas continues to be a destination for lovers of modern architecture.

Palm Springs is a patchwork of distinct neighborhoods, each with their own character and architectural story. Follow this series of fun facts to decode the history of Palm Springs’ most remarkable neighborhoods and get ready to explore them in person during Modernism Week.

Image: Joe Wolf
Image: Joe Wolf

History

Vista Las Palmas was developed by the father and son team of George and Robert Alexander, who specialized in the Southern California style of modern architecture. Firms such as Palmer and Krisel and Charles Dubois designed 330 homes for the neighborhood, featuring soaring rooflines, minimalist facades, and lots of curb appeal. Interiors included post-and-beam construction, soaring glass walls, and spacious, open floor plans. The homes are great examples of midcentury modern design with seamless indoor/outdoor spaces that offer a casual-yet-elegant lifestyle.

Fun Facts

Vista Las Palmas was one of the first mid-century neighborhoods favored by Hollywood celebrities, whose studio contracts required them to stay within two hours of Los Angeles.

The House of Tomorrow, a midcentury estate located at 1350 Ladera Circle, was the home of Robert and Helene Alexander, whose family built many of Palm Springs’ famed midcentury neighborhoods. It is also where Elvis and Priscilla Presley began their honeymoon.

There are no unsightly electrical wires to interfere with the neighborhood’s spectacular mountain views – one of the first modern neighborhoods in Palm Springs with all utilities underground.

Built of natural stone, glass and rock, the homes are single story to preserve the mountain views for all.

Vista Las Palmas has an international flair, with homeowners from around the globe.

Famous people who lived in the neighborhood

Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford (home is on this year’s tour), Colonel Tom Parker, Debbie Reynolds, George Hamilton, Kirk Douglas, Dinah Shore (home now owned by Leonardo DiCaprio), Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Cyd Charisse, Rona Barrett and Trini Lopez (still lives here), among others.

Street Boundaries

Rose Avenue to the West.
Crescent Drive to the South.
Vista Chino to the North.
Monte Vista to the East.

Modernism Week Highlights

Take a tour of this stunning neighborhood with the Vista Las Palmas Tour of Homes on February 20. Proceeds will benefit local charities (last year, $30,000 was raised from tours!).

For more information about Vista Las Palmas, check out this map or visit www.vistalaspalmas.org.

Neighborhood Series written by Cindy Duffy.

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