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Midcentury Modern 101: The Meiselman Home

With the resurgence in popularity of the Mid Century Modern aesthetic in the last few years, the spotlight has been trained on Palm Springs and its proud heritage of modern architecture. Initially designed as an economical housing solution easily marketed to the emerging modernist market, the Mid-century modern tract homes, with their emphasis on backyard pools, central air and heat (a new thing back then), sleek lines and butterfly roofs became symbolic of Palm Springs life.

When you talk about Mid Century Modern with regard to Palm Springs homes, two names are always included in the conversation: Alexander and Meiselman.

While Alexander Construction built over 2500 homes in their signature style around Palm Springs between 1955 and 1965 (when the entire Alexander family was killed in a plane crash), Jack Meiselman and his brother Bernie built around 350 homes. Very similar in appearance, Meiselman and Alexander Homes are confused often. But there are some important differences between the two. Alexander homes have all bedroom situated next to each other on the same side of the house. Desiring more separation, Meiselman homes placed the master suite on one end of the house, and all other bedrooms in the opposite wing, allowing increased privacy.

With the emphasis on indoor/outdoor living, Meisleman homes feature huge walls of glass between the great room and the pool area.

Jack Meiselman got his start in Palm Springs working with Bob Alexander on a project for Alexander Construction, and started his own company after a falling out between the two. The two companies filled the Palm Springs are with their signature style. During the 80s and 90, many of these desert gems sat empty and fell into disrepair. Thankfully, it was cheaper to let them sit than to tear them down. They began to sell again in the late 90s for as little as $20,000, and the resurgence was on.

While some remodels have led to disastrous results (mid-century Spanish anyone?), many have been restored far beyond the quality of even the original construction. Meiselman Palms offered by Beau Monde Villas as a Palm Springs vacation rental is a prime example of this enthusiasm for the style. Built in 1960, Meiselman Palms is a mid-century gem, featuring modern amenities paired with the notable and period specific architectural details of its time. The open floor plan, paired with abundant windows and sliding glass doors provide an unobstructed flow of indoor/outdoor living so popular in the desert, and offers a unique opportunity to vacation at a beautifully updated piece of Modernism history.

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