Architect Walter White's midcentury modern 'wave' house to be auctioned – USA TODAY


The town is contemplating preserving a historic wave house in Palm Desert.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A landmark Palm Desert residence with a one-of-a-type “curler-coaster wave” roof  will hit the auction block throughout 2018 Modernism Week when metropolis officers and preservationists hope somebody with a ardour for midcentury modern structure will need to personal and restore the construction.

Vacant and in disrepair, the house was designed in 1955 for playboy artist Miles C. Bates by revolutionary architect Walter S. White.

The town of Palm Desert introduced the public sale on its website, and posted historic details about the house and its authentic proprietor, in addition to different integral documentation concerning the property, together with directions on how to get hold of a bid package deal.  

Extra: The most expensive house in the world can be yours for a cool $410 million

Extra: U.S. home sales rose in October as hurricane impact wanes

“The town is inquisitive about partnering with a purchaser who values Walter White’s imaginative and prescient for the Miles Bates House and desires to return the construction to its former glory,” town states in a brochure documenting the construction’s historical past.

Palm Desert metropolis leaders have permitted up to $50,000 in matching funds to incentivize restoration of the property.

Modernism Week, set for Feb. 15-25, is a celebration of midcentury modern design structure, artwork, vogue and tradition and yearly attracts tens of 1000's of individuals  to the Coachella Valley.

Constructed as a one-bed room, one-tub residence with curved partitions and an open ground plan, revolutionary architect White — who was primarily based in Palm Desert on the time — used wood dowels with bi-concave intermediate parts for the roof, a design type he patented.

The rolling roof line follows the profile of the Santa Rosa Mountains behind it.

The house, at 73697 Santa Rosa Approach, generated “a whole lot of curiosity” when town opened it for public excursions throughout a Modernism Week Preview occasion in October, Mayor Jan Harnik stated.

The house sits on lower than an acre and was lately appraised at $320,000 to $340,000. It's unknown what restoration would price.

The town has hoped Modernism Week would supply the very best alternative to promote the house to somebody with a ardour for the structure and talent to protect and restore it.

Aside from a few small areas of dry rot, the roof stays in good condition and savable, metropolis Public Works Director Mark Greenwood stated.

Extra: Renowned contemporary architect Irving Tobocman killed in car crash

Extra: Acclaimed architect Gunnar Birkerts dies at 92

The town’s Redevelopment Company bought the house in 2007 for future growth of close by Joslyn senior middle and to present extra reasonably priced housing for seniors.

However years earlier than town’s RDA acquired the house, it had been renovated with rooms added on within the entrance, shielding a lot of the roof from road view. A 4-unit, single-story house complicated — additionally in a state of disrepair — was constructed on the south aspect of the house in 1973.

With the state’s dismantling of redevelopment businesses in 2011, town is now required to promote the house and land and should achieve this by the top of June or it would grow to be Riverside County property.

Within the meantime, efforts to get the house listed as a historic landmark domestically and nationally proceed.

Historic society board secretary Merilee Colton stated inserting the house up for public sale gained’t damage registration efforts, however it is necessary that designation comes earlier than it's bought to maintain it from demolition.

Surrounded by citrus orchards when it was constructed, the house is in an space zoned for single and multifamily dwellings and now ringed by house complexes.

A particular assembly of the Palm Desert Cultural Assets Preservation Committee is ready for 9 a.m. PT Dec. 12 to contemplate an area historic landmark designation for the house. The general public assembly will be held within the council chambers convention room at Metropolis Corridor, on the northeast nook of Fred Waring Drive and San Pablo Avenue.

Whereas supportive of an area itemizing, the Metropolis Council lately voted to object to a nomination for itemizing on the Nationwide Register, saying it may place restoration mandates/boundaries on the house that would make it price-prohibitive to potential consumers.

As an alternative, Greenwood stated nationwide designation ought to be up to the brand new proprietor. The choice was met with disappointment from the historic society which continues to push ahead and get the nationwide itemizing.

“Our focus is on saving the house, and whereas we welcome town’s revolutionary involvement, and all the trouble they've put ahead to discover the appropriate purchaser, hope shouldn't be a plan and we should plan for the worst," Colton stated.

The nomination for nationwide designation will seemingly be permitted on the state stage earlier than the beginning of Modernism Week after which forwarded for federal approval, she stated.

“That won't robotically stop destruction however ought to increase the house’s profile much more, which might assist in the struggle to protect it,” Colton stated.

For extra details about bidding on the house, go to

For Modernism Week info and tickets, go to

Observe Sherry Barkas on Twitter: @TDSSherryBarkas

Learn or Share this story:

Let's spread the love!

Learn How To Be #1 on Google Results

Architect Walter White's midcentury modern 'wave' house to be auctioned - USA TODAY