A golf-lover’s mecca, the well-heeled desert community of Rancho Mirage contains over a dozen courses within its 25 square miles. The first of these, opened in 1951, is the Thunderbird. Built on the site of the former Thunderbird ranch, the project was bankrolled by a consortium that included Texas oilman and developer A. Pollard Simons. After the country club was built, Simons decided to build some homes nearby for himself and his golf buddies. Palm Springs architects William Cody, Donald Wexler, and Richard Harrison were enlisted, with Cody master-planning the seven-acre development, known as Thunderbird North. Cody designed three of the enclave’s 10 homes, with Harrison & Wexler drawing up the rest.
Now up for grabs with an asking price just under $2.5 million is one of the seven Harrison & Wexler-designed residences. Completed in 1957, the classic desert modern was treated to a 2018 remodel by Brad Dunning, acclaimed architectural designer and restorer of a slew of significant properties by the likes of Richard Neutra, John Lautner, A. Quincy Jones, Wallace Neff, and Paul R. Williams.
Set behind low natural rock walls on a half-acre lot, the house is wrapped in vertical board-and-batten siding that continues inside, where it’s complemented by a pecky Cypress partition that separates the entry from the dining area. Like most high-end homes in the cluster of desert resort communities that comprise the Coachella Valley, this one was designed for easy entertaining and to maximize indoor-outdoor living. Within its 2,270 square feet are three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a spacious living room anchored by a stone-surround fireplace for chilly winter nights, an open-plan kitchen appointed with top-of-the-line appliances and quartz countertops, a dining room, and a lounge area with mirrored wall. Keeping everything light and bright are lofty beamed ceilings, white terrazzo tile floors, and ample walls of glass that slide open to the patio and sparkling pool with spa. Other exterior features include a raised firepit and a cactus garden.
As well as being within putting distance of the Thunderbird Country Club, the house is also a four-minute drive to both the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, open for stargazing Thursdays and Saturdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and local landmark restaurant Lord Fletcher’s. Listed on the Rancho Mirage historic register, the property also comes with Mills Act tax benefits. It’s listed with Keith Markovitz of TTK Represents and Compass.