The Desert Sun’s Melissa Daniels reports that Palm Springs’ iconic Kaufmann House is on the market. Designed by famed architect Richard Neutra for department store tycoon Edgar Kaufmann in 1946, the home was made famous by Julius Schulman’s 1947 photographs and by serving as the backdrop for Slim Aarons' 1970 "Poolside Gossip" photograph. Edgar Kaufmann is also remembered for having commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design his famous southwestern Pennsylvania vacation home, Fallingwater.
The 3,162 square foot, 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom Kaufmann House has quite a history. After Edgar Kaufmann died in 1955, it had a number of different owners, including Barry Manilow and San Diego Chargers owner Eugene V. Klein. Renovations to the home, included enclosing a patio, adding floral wallpaper to the bedrooms, removing a wall for the addition of a media room and altering the roof lines in order to add air conditioning units. Couple Brent Harris and Beth Edwards Harris purchased the home in 1992 for $1.5 million and then set out to restore it to its original design.
It proved to be a daunting task since Neutra had died in 1970 and the original plans were not available. So the Harrises brought in Los Angeles architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner to restore the design. For clues on original design, the Harrises scoured the extensive Neutra archives at UCLA, found additional related documents through Columbia University and were able to work with Shulman to access some of his never-printed photos of the home's interior. For the restoration work itself, they obtained pieces from the original suppliers of paint and fixtures, purchased a metal-crimping machine to reproduce the sheet-metal fascia that lined the roof and even had a long-closed section of a Utah quarry reopened to mine matching stone to replace what had been removed or damaged. To help restore the desert buffer Neutra had envisioned for the house, the Harrises also bought several adjoining plots of land to more than double the land around the home to roughly 94,260 square feet. The couple also rebuilt a pool house that serves as a viewing pavilion for the main house and kept a tennis court that was built on a parcel added to the original Kaufmann property.
The home was sold at auction by Christies in May 2008 for $15 million. The sale later fell through. The home is back on the market as of October 16th with a listing price of $25 million that would set a record for Palm Springs residential real estate. In comparison, the Bob Hope house, designed by John Lautner, sold for $13 million in 2016 and Lautner's Arthur Elrod house sold for $7.7 million also in 2016. The highest priced sale on record in the Coachella Valley was Larry Ellison's purchase of the Porcupine Creek estate in Rancho Mirage, complete with its own 18-hole golf course, for $42.9 million in 2011.
Listing courtesy of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty | MLS# SB-20208166
To read Melissa Daniels’ original article, courtesy of The Desert Sun, please visit: https://www.desertsun.com/story/marketplace/real-estate/2020/10/16/kaufmann-house-palm-springs-sale-25-m/3679428001/
To learn more about the Kaufmann House, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaufmann_Desert_House