Indian Canyons Modernism Week Home Tour Highlights

February 26, 2022

2441 CALIENTE DRIVE

Designed by architect Charles E. Du Bois, AIA (1903-1996), the 2441 S. Caliente house was built in 1969 by developer Roy Fey of Fey Canyon Estates and purchased by the current owners in 2014.

The 2,592 square foot house exemplifies the Palm Springs mid-century modern vibe, with its open-plan living room and entertainment area expanding seamlessly to the pool deck and backyard. The living room, entertainment area with built in bar and billiards, and master suite with remodeled shower share the expansive views to Mount San Jacinto. An adjoining lanai creates an outdoor dining space overlooking the golf course to enjoy sunsets or an early morning coffee. The mid-century look is accentuated by colorful fabrics, artwork and the poolside “Palm Springs” sign.

Charles Du Bois was born in Rochester, New York, and educated at UCLA and MIT. Du Bois worked as a senior screen Set Designer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. He specialized in house designs for several local developers including Roy Fey on the Canyon Estates subdivision in Palm Springs. Between 1958 and 1962, Du Bois designed 15 houses for the Alexanders in Vista Las Palmas, which included a modern interpretation of a Swiss Chalet and nicknamed “Swiss Miss” houses. His work included many significant houses in Indian Wells.

2497 CALIENTE DRIVE

Designed by renowned architect William Krisel, the incredible midcentury compound on prestigious Caliente Drive on the Indian Canyon golf course was built in 1969. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by two, large Chimera stone sculptures: a mythical firebreathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail. The living and dining rooms feature stunning, full western mountain views, tall ceilings, clerestory windows and massive beams.

The home has been tastefully updated, creating four bedrooms, all with en suite bathrooms, and a cook’s kitchen with butler’s pantry. The living room, dining room and kitchen have original white marble flooring. Furnishings merge contemporary styling with vintage mid-century pieces: a 1970’s Eames chair with foot stool, coffee table from 70’s and 80’s Seattlebased furniture designer and builder Harry Lunstead, and dining and coffee tables from Pace and Warren Platner. Outside, you’ll find a covered lanai extending the living room into an outdoor space shaded from the afternoon sun by an electric awning. A 75-foot-long expansive pool is a swimmer’s dream, along with a separate spa and outdoor shower. Beautiful landscaping surrounds the entire property with numerous patio areas to relax and enjoy the eastern and western mountain views.

1380 VIA ESTRELLA

Built in 1969 by Roy Fey and designed by Charles Du Bois as part of the original Canyon Country Club neighborhood, now called Indian Canyons, 1380 Estrella boasts bold architectural lines, walls of glass, mid-century vibe, privacy and views! From the dramatic courtyard entry to the large living spaces and out to the hedged and private rear yard and pool you will find dramatic mountain views. Each room accesses the grounds, fully integrating the outdoors into living spaces.
The 2,543-square-foot home has been carefully remodeled and restored. The Living Room- Dining room, Bar, Kitchen and Master bedroom open to the private pool and backyard entertaining area. The house has three bedrooms and two-and-one-half bathrooms, with the guest bedrooms opening into the private front yard.

Environmentally friendly desert landscaping was added in 2015 by Palm Springs landscaper Paul Ortega and was profiled on the 2016 Modernism garden tour. Architect Charles DuBois started as a Senior Set designer for MGM and then opened his California firm in 1938. He is noted for Mid- Century properties that include the Vista Las Palmas and Canyon Estates neighborhoods. Developer Roy Fey started his Palm Springs career in 1955, working with architects Wexler, Krisel, and DuBois.

933 BALBOA CIRCLE

Built in 1962 and extensively renovated in 2011, this midcentury modern provides a glimpse into the elegant yet casual world that is a hallmark of Palm Springs living. Located on the curve of the cul-de-sac, its pie-shaped large backyard offers panoramic western views across the 16th fairway to Mount San Jacinto. The privacy of the enclosed front entry courtyard, with its calming water feature and a patio leading from the guest room, sets the mood for relaxed comfort.

The current owners, who purchased the property in 2017, have retained the beige and sandstone palette established in 2011, with travertine floors and stone fireplace surround, highlighted by soft, glowing incandescent lighting. They have upgraded systems with smart-home features and solar power to fully bring the home into the 21st century but otherwise are pleased making the 2,810-square-foot house their own with their furnishings and collections which include a full complement of Broyhill Sculptra furniture one of the owners’ parents purchased for their Long Island home in 1964. Sculptra walnut pieces featured decorative molding with a square within-a square motif and horizontal cat’s eyeshaped drawer pulls. Other design features include fabrics reminiscent of the early 1960’s and a decorative divider screen original to the house that echoes the vintage Broyhill furniture design. Along with its outdoor kitchen, architectural lighting makes for a cozy, informal entertaining area after sunset by highlighting the original 1962 pool and the property’s extensive plantings of citrus trees, ficus hedging, palm trees, bougainvillea and jasmine.

2418 VIA LAZO

This 1974 home on South Via Lazo underwent a complete renovation in 2020. It is a breath-taking transformation of a Spanish Mission-style house with a lack of light into a mid-century-inspired residence of stylized lines and large sliding doors and windows, letting in the light and the fabulous views of the San Jacinto Mountains. “Casa Via Lazo” is a 3,000- square-foot work of art. Designer Javier Echenique completely reimagined this mid-century villa for contemporary life using the best materials full of unique details from around the world. The kitchen features paneled Viking appliances, white quartz counters and solid maple cabinetry with custom glass pulls.

The expansive main area showcases a restored brick fireplace, a designer wet bar and sculptural lighting. Large walls of glass connect indoor to outdoor seamlessly, allowing the eye to travel the full expanse from pool to broad mountain views. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home features a master suite with its own private outdoor area and new in-ground spa on the south wing. The north wing features two guest bedrooms and an office, each with its own private entrances. The pool, newly resurfaced in white Pebble Tec, is a study in cool minimalism. Echenique’s original paintings were painted expressly for this property.

Casa Via Lazo is refined and yet so casual in the true spirit of desert modernism!

2250 YOSEMITE DRIVE

This 3,300-square-foot house on Yosemite Drive was one of the first designed by Stan Sackley in the Canyon Country Club Estates. The house situated on nearly one-half acre was created for Sackley’s sometimes business partners Earl and Marie Liever in 1968. The Lievers, who lived in San Francisco, were noted for their philanthropy, having donated the Mezzanine for the Palm Springs Art Museum and, together with Bill and Lucille Demarest, were large donors to Children’s Village USA. Upon Marie’s death, Earl gave a building in memory of his late wife and donated and raised funds for a building in honor of William Demarest (star of My Three Sons television series). A very private couple, the Lievers asked for a house with one bedroom and four bathrooms. They loved to entertain but didn’t want overnight
guests.

At the time, the house was the most expensive per squarefoot house built in the Canyon Country Club. Except for some updates to surfaces and appliances, the house is essentially the same as it was when first constructed. Sackley’s design for this house was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s use of materials, strong horizontal lines, varying interior ceiling heights, and overall massing. A mid-century touch are the original four mitered-corner windows including the monumental dining room window facing the golf course. The pool, garden areas and five atriums were part of the original design. The original quarry tile floors have been updated and the fireplace redone with an absolute black granite hearth and upper-facing travertine. In keeping with the style of the homes in the neighborhood, few windows were originally installed with street views. Later in 1996, Mr. Sackley oversaw the installation of two vertical windows in the den/office facing the circular drive. Mr. and Mrs. Liever commissioned the quintessential sixties’ sculpture on the street-side façade of the garage.

Indian Canyon Neighborhood History

Once the exclusive domain of the Agua Caliente Indians, development began on the Indian Canyons Neighborhood in the early 1960s and the first golfers teed off at the Canyon Country Club golf course in October 1962.

The iconic clubhouse was designed by famed architects Donald Wexler and Ric Harrison. The Canyon Country Club, now known as the Indian Canyons North Course, was the first 18-hole golf course in Palm Springs. (The O’Donnell golf course, also located within Palm Springs city limits, dates from the 1920s but is a 9-hole course.)

With the Canyon Country Club and the newly opened Canyon Hotel Racquet and Golf Resort serving as its anchors, the Indian Canyons Neighborhood was born. Orange County developer Harry Kelso was brought in to create high-end homes and condominiums of varying designs and models, as were Arizona builder Paul Butler and Roy Fey of Fey’s Canyon Estates in Palm Springs. To learn more about Harry Kelso and his work in our neighborhood, where homes were built primarily from 1963 to 1970, click here.  Other architects and builders in the area include well-known mid-century architects Stan Sackley and William Krisel.

The allure of the Indian Canyons Neighborhood, then and now, is our location in the wind-free south end. Many Hollywood celebrities have made the Indian Canyons Neighborhood their home over the years including Fess Parker, Chuck Connors, David Janssen and Walt Disney, who donated the spectacular fountain that is located between holes 9 and 18 on the North course. For more information on the many celebrities who called our neighborhood home, check out “The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes,” by Eric G. Meeks. Additional articles regarding the history of the Canyon Country Club golf course and our area can be found by clicking here, or here.  You may also visit the Palm Springs Historical Society archives, located in the Welwood Murray Memorial Library at 100 S. Palm Canyon Drive. (http://www.palmspringshistoricalsociety.net)

As we witness the ongoing transformation of our downtown area, the Indian Canyons Neighborhood, with its rich history, will continue to evolve in new and exciting ways. Thank you for being a part of our progress.

Indian Canyons Celebrities

The club has a colorful history as a favorite haunt of Hollywood celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Sammy Davis, Jr., Johnny Carson, Chuck Conners, Jackie Gleason, and Milton Berle, as well as former U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

Celebrities who lived in Indian Canyons:

  • Walt Disney – Camino Real
  • Chuck Conners (The Rifleman) – Camino Real
  • Don Adams (Get Smart) – Camino Real
  • David Janssen (The Fugitive) – Yosemite
  • Jerome Factor (Max Factor Cosmetics) – Via Estrella
  • Irving Mills (Discovered Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman) – Murray Canyon
  • Ginny Simms (Actress) – Murray Canyon
  • Fred Williamson (Current resident, Football Player, Actor, Producer) – Calle Palo Fierro
  • Fess Parker (Davy Crockett) – Toledo
  • William Demarest (Actor) – Yosemite
  • Ralph Young (Sandler & Young) – Sierra Way
  • Bobby Milano/Keely Smith (Singers) – Murray Canyon

Modernism Week 2022 Highlights

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2441

Designed by architect Charles E. Du Bois, AIA (1903-1996)

2497

Designed by architect William Krisel (1969)

1380

Built by Roy Fey and designed by Charles Du Bois as part of the original Canyon Country Club neighborhood (1969)

2418

This 1974 home on South Via Lazo underwent a complete renovation in 2020.

933

Built in 1962 and extensively renovated in 2011

2250

Built by Stan Sackley in the Canyon Country Club Estates for Sackley’s sometimes business partners Earl and Marie Liever (1968)