GOTO RANCHO MIRAGE LISTINGS
The city of Rancho Mirage is a much admired resort destination that presents homebuyers with an enviable way of life. Nestled in the lush Coachella Valley, the settings offer nearly 350 days of sunshine as well as various attractions from casinos to country clubs. Even more impressive are the number of architecturally significant luxury homes that encompass the Rancho Mirage real estate market.
"Rancho Mirage" came about from the Spanish "rancho" and French "mirage" in a name that now so aptly describes the mix of traditional and luxury influences that highlight the city. In the 1930s, however, it was simply the promotional name given to parcels by developers Louis Blankenhorn and Laurence Macomber. Planned development began in the post-War era, spurring residential and resort communities that now enjoy worldwide acclaim. Thunderbird Country Club, oldest of the grand clubs (and namesake to the Ford model), began operation in 1951. It was followed shortly thereafter by Tamarisk Country Club. DesertIsland, the Springs, Sunrise, Mission Hills, Rancho Las Palmas and Morningside round out an array of world-class facilities. In the older clubs, youll find designs from Mid-Century Modern architects such as William F. Cody and Richard Neutra. They designed and built many of the Valleys distinctive and inspiring residences, which are hot on the market today. See my special page on Mid-Century Modern.
Tamarisk Rancho is a premium neighborhood located in the heart of suburban Rancho Mirage adjacent to the Tamarisk Country Club. There are two clusters of 16 Mid-Century Modern homes enclosing groomed, park-like green belts with tranquil views of mature fruit trees and date palms that may predate the development.
The 45-foot swimming pool at the center of this private oasis in the South cluster was advertised in 1958 as "one of the finest in Palm Springs." It was the scene of al fresco cocktail parties hosted by the likes of Barbara Sinatra, Groucho Marx and other Hollywood talent from in front and behind the camera.
Tamarisk Rancho is architecturally significant as a well designed and intact example of a property type apparently unique to Rancho Mirage and the Coachella Valley area. These are planned unit developments of privately owned single-family residences sharing grounds and a swimming pool (a Cooperative).
Original windows are aluminum-framed casement, sliding, and floor-to-ceiling glass. Some elevations have clerestory windows. Rafters are visible beneath deep eaves. The rectangular houses have open floor plans with indoor-outdoor access through large sliding glass doors. Exterior and interior chimneys are thin brick or natural rock.
Tamarisk Rancho South was developed by Lou Halper's Devon Construction Company in 1958. Architecturally, the homes were clearly influenced by William Krisel and Dan Palmer's designs for the Alexander Company. According to Krisel himself, Lou Halper paid Krisel to do the overall master plan, then Halper's in-house architects designed the various houses. Not surprisingly, the completed homes bear a striking resemblance to the Palmer and Krisel Alexander homes being constructed at the same time in the Twin Palms area of Palm Springs.
Among the Cooperative SFRs in Rancho Mirage, the Tamarisk Rancho (and Tamarisk Fairway on 10th) properties are the best remaining examples of the type in terms of condition, architectural style, integrity, setting, workmanship, and association. The only alteration to the grounds is the relatively minor fence enclosure of the pool. As an excellent example of this new type of Modern tract housing that characterized Rancho Mirage from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, the Tamarisk Ranchos appears eligible for designation as a historic district.
The history of Tamarisk Rancho centers around a small group of the founding members of the Tamarisk Country Club: developer Lou Halper, City National Bank owner Al Hart, comedian Groucho Marx, producers Alfred Tugend and Harry Robbin, and attorney Philip Eisendrath. Instead of each building custom houses along the golf course, they decided to have Lou Halper build modest
Other Tamarisk Country Club members purchased houses at Tamarisk Ranchos including agent Jules Goldstone, Oscar-winning producer/screenwriter Larry Weingarten, J.A. Minow, Joseph Checkers of Chicago, Oscar-winning director Alfred Lushing, Hal Meyers, and attorney Hy Raskin. Raskin had co-chaired Adlai Stevenson's election campaign and later served as West Coast campaign manager for John F. Kennedy. Many were also members of the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.
Barbara Marx purchased the Groucho Marx' house after her divorce from Zeppo Marx and it remained in her name after her marriage to Frank Sinatra.
Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage the "Playground of the Rich and Famous"
Thunderbird Heights is a gated hillside just across from Thunderbird Country Club. The neighborhood, established in the 1950's, offers a diverse mix of classic Mid-Century Modern homes, remodeled classics, and new construction, most of which were built in the sixties and seventies.
or simply would like more information about these hard to find homes, contact us today so you don't miss this opportunity.
Homeowners Association fees in Thunderbird Heights are very affordable. If you're looking for a name gated community, Thunderbird Heights must be on your list.
Facts and Figures:SEASONAL MEDIAN AGE: 54 MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME: $78,434 MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $695,000 HOUSEHOLD WITH CHILDREN: 59%1 MILLION VISITORS PER YEAR 350 DAYS OF SUNSHINEANNUAL RAINFALL 5.23"
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