Okay, I don’t know if this one would be rated up there as one of the best examples of Modern Architecture, but I had to use it because it has ties to Elvis Presley. This is called the House of Tomorrow and was designed in 1962 by William Krisel. It was commissioned by Robert Alexander, a developer, for his wife Helene. The house is designed in four circles on three levels. It incorporates glass and “peanut brittle” stone work to allow the indoor/outdoor living the desert is so famous for. It has simple post and beam construction, sloping roofs with deep overhangs, and an open floor plan. The Alexander’s led a fascinating life, tragically cut short by a plane crash. More information about them is here.
In September 1966 Elvis leased the estate at 1350 Via Ladera Circle. Since gossip columnist Rona Barrett was living just around the corner, she surmised that Elvis and Priscilla were going to get married. On May 1st 1967, the rest of the world found out, and instead of a nice quiet poolside reception, the couple fled to Las Vegas (in Frank Sinatra’s private jet) for a quickie marriage. They did, however, return the same day for their honeymoon in the house. You can take guided tours of the house, or rent it out for parties. There is a lot more fun “Hollywood” gossip on their website here.
William Krisel was born in Shanghai, and received his architectural degree from USC. He came to the Coachella Valley to design the Ocotillo Lodge for the Alexander Construction company in 1956, followed by modernist tract homes for Alexander.
The house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac, so baring gardeners trucks and housekeepers cars parked in front it is easy to access and easy to photograph. The plaque on the lower left near the walkway gives you the phone number to contact if you would like to hold your wedding and honeymoon there.