Located in one of the first exclusive guard-gated country club communities in Rancho Mirage, this architecturally significant estate is a nostalgic marvel of mid-century preservation. The fairway residence was designed in 1955 by renowned architect, William F. Cody, AIA, as commissioned by his steel magnate client, and is among an eclectic portfolio of homes from mid-century to Moroccan.
The estate overlooking the 9th and 18th greens includes three well preserved bedrooms, and a one- bedroom casita in a casual interior living. William Cody designed a horizontal house with a flat roof line supported by steel beams against the mountain backdrop, using sandstone blocks and an exterior fascia of cedar accented with modern desert landscape. Sleek terrazzo flooring can be seen from the entryway throughout the great room and down the corridors. Cody insisted the joints and tall door-frames seemingly disappear into the walls surrounded with plenty of glass for natural lighting to create outdoor exposure while still indoors. A massive overhang projection outside the great room to the pool area is supported by four solid steel posts for a seamless indoor – outdoor lifestyle.
Interior designer, Helen Conway, who had worked for acclaimed designer Billy Haines in Los Angeles, was hired to design the original interior. Today all appointments and furnishings in the home are preserved and remain original. Conway had the furniture custom made with the upholstery and curtains woven from Peruvian fabrics, some with the famous Thunderbird motif worked in. Helen Conway also used an oversize box-spring mattress for the Hawaiian-style sofa found in the great room. An impressive fireplace spans the great room wall made of the same sandstone as the exterior. Rumor has it that neighbor, Lucille Ball was so enamored by the hearth that she had a similar design done for her Beverly Hills residence. Most recently, a refurbishment fabric for the couch and club chairs were reprinted to match the original.
Imagine playing cards with neighbors like Lucy and Desi, Hoagy Carmichael (Jazz composer who wrote “Stardust” and “Georgia on my Mind”), or Ginger Rogers in the 1960’s as often happened in this marvelous vacation retreat. During cocktail parties, other notable neighbors like President and Mrs. Ford often stated that the view of the mountains at sunset from the pool was the best of any house in the exclusive country club.
The galley kitchen with picture window is also preserved including the dual retro ovens (still operable) save for the modern refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher.Hidden behind the chestnut paneled walls, but yet a gem to see is the magnificent period audio system and automated record jukebox. The sleeping quarters are also preserved in 1955 with twin beds in 2 bedrooms that feature nostalgic bedding and style, and another bedroom with a queen size bed. Each bedroom has an en suite bathroom with a terrarium of desert landscape in view from the showers as originally designed by Cody. The master bedroom does include a king size bed for comfort with walls of glass facing south-west to the fairway and mountains.
This vacation residence is for the mid-century enthusiast wanting to reminisce with life of a bygone era. Modern amenities in technology are available, including flat screen TV’s, wireless internet, and iPod alarm clocks.