The historic Southridge neighborhood on a hill overlooking Palm Springs is going through something of a revival after years of neglect. The neighborhood is home to notable homes like Lautner‘s Elrod house and Bob Hope iconic domed house, William Cody’s Goldberg house, the Steve McQueen House by Hugh Kaptur and the Boat House by Michael P. Johnson.
Unfortunately, many of these modernist classics sat empty and neglected for years until the recent wave of renovations. Several of the homes sat empty for years after the financial crisis when Lloyd’s Bank took ownership after the previous owner’s default.
The neighborhood was developed primarily from 1961 to 1968, with sporadic additions throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Currently, O2 Architecture is adding the first new home to the area in 25 years for gallery owners Dennis and Molly Yares.
This recent resurgence has attracted some big name buyers, including billionaire investor Ron Burkle who bought the Bob Hope property in November for $13 million, after owning the Elrod house for several years. The Elrod House was acquired by designer Jeremy Scott in September for $7.7 million. CBS news correspondent Barry Petersen recently acquired the boathouse.
“John Lautner is my favorite architect. I love the world he created, and living in his works of art makes me happy,” says Scott, who lives in Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein House in Los Angeles. “The Elrod House is one of his best works, and I had been fascinated with it since before I even realized or understood architecture or John Lautner. I plan to enjoy it immensely and create new memories in this icon of design.”
These new owners see themselves as custodians for masterpieces of modernism and digging out the old plans to return these homes to their original glory in exacting detail.
“I am excited about what’s going on out there,” Burkle says. “Palm Springs has always been a great place for architecture. Jeremy and I are taking turns getting archives out of the Getty so we can look at every iteration [of plans] to see what Lautner was thinking.”
“[Southridge residents] seem so upbeat because of all the new buyers coming in with the intent of bringing grandeur back to spectacular versions of midcentury architecture,” lyricist/director David Zippel proclaims.