House for Sale

If you appreciate architecture and modernism, you’ll be interested to see the Kaufmann Desert House is for sale. The house was designed by famed architect Richard Neutra – the inspiration behind Neutraface.

Maybe I’m a bit biased, but I have to think that you can see the beauty in this house even if modernism isn’t your thing.

This is the same Kaufmann’s that asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a summer retreat in rural Pennsylvania and ended up with Fallingwarter. Life is tough when you have to choose between spending a weekend in you Frank Lloyd Wright house or your Richard Neutra house.

I wonder how much of the $25 million asking price is due to it being a Neutra design. My guess is the houses nearby don’t go for that much. I sure wouldn’t mind spending my winters in Palm Springs, but not at those prices.

Whoever buys the house will be paying a premium for the provenance, I’m sure. How much? I don’t know.

Nope. Not interested. I don’t admire design that doesn’t account for the elements. There are architecturally beautiful buildings all over the world. A good number of them have design flaws causing any number of major repair issues, mostly to do with intersecting roof and wall angles and water/snow.
Looks great on paper though, don’t it?

I live in So Cal and am obsessed with mid century design. I’d say it’s a $1.5 million house, plus an extra $23.5 because the Neutra name is attached. Someone buys that because they want to own a museum piece, not because they want to live there.

Personally, I like the Eichler houses. 11,000 were built in So Cal in the 50s and early 60s. They go for around $1 million, and people keep those in pretty good condition. And then there’s Cliff May. Similar style, but people beat the hell out of them over the years, slapping stucco on the exterior, adding second stories, tearing down walls. Nice ranch mid century ranch houses if you can find them in original condition or have the knowledge and means to bring them back.

But in this case it does. This is Palm Springs. Very little rain and no snow. People move there because they are into indoor/outdoor living. The favored home designs treat the backyard as an extension of the living room and kitchen.

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Then ditch the grass. Or I guess if you can spend 25m on a house, you can afford to bring in a truckload of water every now and then for it.
Still don’t like it. My taste runs more to old brick and Greek Revival

I really like Neutra’s architecture, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable living in that style of house. It does make a good fit for Palm Springs, though.

It’s a weird area of extreme contrasts — the bordering mountains and desert are as barren and desolate as anything I’ve ever seen, yet the city is awash in water. There are huge golf courses and palm-lined boulevards. Maseratis and Lamborghinis seem as common as Volkswagens. The summers are unbearably hot, yet everything stays perfectly green and well-manicured.

So yeah, an impractical, $25 million, modest-sized house that will likely be lived for a couple of weeks during the winter seems par for the course and not at all unusual.

I like the style … if I was beyond rich, It would be awesome to have. However at this point and time, I don’t have 100k laying around for the monthly mortgage.


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I wouldn’t be buying a house anywhere near there. How long before the wildfires reduce it to ashes?

I wouldn’t be too concerned about wildfires around Palm Springs. There’s not enough vegetation growing on the surrounding hillsides to burn. Palm Springs is literally an oasis in a desert.

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