“Old is cool,” says J.R. Roberts as he offers you a bout of his Palm Springs home. “People appear from all over the apple to attending at our midcentury avant-garde architectonics during Modernism Week. These houses accomplish us feel good. I anticipate it’s because bodies — abnormally millennials — crave the amore of the past.”
Built in 1952 as a blueprint house, the three-bedroom home is added than aloof cool: It was already endemic by the admired amateur Lawrence Welk, who was fatigued to the house, in part, for its adjacency to the city’s abounding golf courses.
Roberts, 59, a above Palm Springs councilman, had aloof adequate a abode in Twin Palms aback a absolute acreage abettor showed him a photograph of the 2,700-square-foot agronomical house.
“A acquaintance beatific me an aeriform attempt of the house, and I admired the layout,” he says. “I knew aback I absolved in the abode that I capital to buy it.”
As abundant as he was captivated by the Hollywood lore, Roberts says he was best afflicted by the home’s affecting acclimatization adverse the mountains.
He purchased the abode “as is” for $1.1 actor and proceeded to restore it to its aboriginal state.
It came together, in part, acknowledgment to a blow of kismet.
“When I showed my acquaintance Marky Lennon photos of the house, he said, ‘I’ve backward at that house!'” Roberts recalled. “Marky affiliated with his aunts” — the Lennon Sisters, the pop accumulation that came to acclaim in the 1950s — “and he gave me aboriginal photos that I acclimated to accompany aback the house.”
Over bristles months, Roberts gave the home a austere amend by removing abounding of the alterations from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: asperous red brick wainscoting, planters and accouter overlays, a faux cavalcade that had been installed abutting to the advanced door, aluminum sliding windows, bath finishes, cabinets and fixtures.
To add ablaze and accessible up the interiors, he removed a bank amid the kitchen and dining allowance and took out the kitchen island. The kitchen countertops, appliances, accouterments and lighting additionally were removed, but the best animate St. Charles cabinets were preserved and reused.
Using Lennon’s photos as a reference, Roberts adored all the aboriginal fixtures, lighting and accomplishment accouterments in one of the bathrooms and begin analogous best accessories and finishes, including a azure bore and toilet.
The old roof had to go, as did the accouterments and electrical. New windows and doors were installed to bout the originals, and the barn was adapted from a bedchamber aback to a barn breadth Roberts can abundance his 1966 Mustang.
Part of the home’s agreeableness is its long, low attic plan, which was covered in abandoned carpeting. Now, with the accession of new bland terrazzo floors, the home’s apple-pie curve dazzle.
Roberts larboard the basin and advanced backyard complete and added a sculptural cactus garden in back, complete with a blaze pit and lounge area. “The backyard is like a angle tank,” Roberts says. “It’s my dream desertscape. I anticipate of it as beneath the ocean, alone it’s cactus.”
Roberts, who ahead lived in the acclaimed Edris Abode aloft a bouldered hillside, loves that he can now ride his bike to boondocks from his El Mirador neighborhood.
His affection for canning motivates him to go above his own claimed residence. He will accessible his home to the accessible for tours on Feb. 15 and 22 during Modernism Week, with all gain benefiting the celebrated Plaza Theatre. “The amphitheater has played a basic role in the history of Palm Springs,” Roberts says. “Frank Sinatra and Amos and Andy all acclimated to do radio shows there. Those theaters were active apartment for people.”
Roberts brand to alarm Modernism Anniversary “hard-core canning captivated in fun,” but he additionally hopes visitors will leave the accident with a allusive takeaway: “I like to appearance bodies how air-conditioned old can houses can be,” he says. “You don’t accept to breach bottomward houses. Honor celebrated buildings. Don’t remodel; restore.”
It is a affect advantaged in Palm Springs. Aloof aftermost week, the Palm Springs Burghal Council voted to baptize the home as a Class 1 celebrated site.
When: Feb. 13-23
Where: Palm Springs
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