Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs

Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs

Owning the world's most famous house in the world – the Fallingwater – was not enough for department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann: he needed a winter residence and he needed it in Palm Springs. In 1946 he chose Richard Neutra – revered in his time as a pillar of American Modernism – to build a luxurious Desert House that would also function as an "efficient machine". The result was, arguably, Neutra's most famous design. Soon after its completion in 1949 for what was the then-astronomical sum of $300,000, its sleek forms and mechanical imagery became an emblem of high Modernist style in the US.

The 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom vacation house was designed to provide a seamless connection to the surrounding desert landscape while at the same time offering shelter from harsh climatic conditions. Large sliding glass walls bring the desert practically indoors, while the major outdoor rooms are enclosed by a row of movable vertical fins that offer flexible protection against sandstorms and intense heat. After Kaufmann died in 1955, the house had a series of owners, including singer Barry Manilow.

Today, many critics place the Kaufmann House among the most important houses of the 20th century in the United States, with the likes of Fallingwater, Robie House, Gropius House, and the Gamble House. Despite its location in Palm Springs, it was also included in an expert-reviewed list of all-time top 10 houses in Los Angeles.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Palm Springs. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Kaufmann Desert House on Map

Sight Name: Kaufmann Desert House
Sight Location: Palm Springs, USA (See walking tours in Palm Springs)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Palm Springs, California

Create Your Own Walk in Palm Springs

Create Your Own Walk in Palm Springs

Creating your own self-guided walk in Palm Springs is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Houses in Palm Springs

Famous Houses in Palm Springs

Since the early 1930s, Palm Springs has been a favorite desert oasis for the Hollywood elite. With its excellent winter and springtime weather, fabulous shopping, and beautiful overall ambiance, it offered a convenient escape from clamoring photographers and newspaper gossips. Behind the private walls of homes, bungalows, or hotels – and even in the city's restaurants and nightclubs –...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Palm Springs Introduction Walking Tour

Palm Springs Introduction Walking Tour

The Cahuilla people have lived in the Coachella Valley for over 2,000 years, long before the first European settlers showed up in the early 1800s. The area was popular because there was an abundance of water and shade here, rare commodities in the Sonoran Desert. Much of the land in and around Palm Springs is on the Agua Caliente Reservation; you can learn more about the Cahuilla at the Agua...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles