Morse House – Palm Springs

We first met Joan & Gary Gand through Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond in 2017 when their non-profit organization, which celebrates and promotes 20th century modern architecture and design, did a tour of The Frost House. When we headed out to Palm Springs for Modernism Week they kindly invited us over to their home – the Morse House [1961].

The original home owners where Teddy & Claire Morse. Teddy had selected a ranch model in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs. This area is know for it’s Alexander Homes, and the house model originally chosen is suspected to be a design by William Krisel. Claire Morse, a fan of Harold “Hal” Levitt designs [a modernist architect for Hollywood elite] wanted something fancier than the standard.  So they hired a builder to intervene and add the ‘Levitt’ design effect to the partially finished home.

The previous day to our visit, we had aimlessly being stalking homes, randomly driving up and down streets, we stopped outside one particular home and said to ourselves “OMG – now that house I want to peek inside”. It really stands out from the crowd. Fast forward to the next day, Joan texts their address, we slap it into WAZE and head on over. When we turn the corner, and WAZE announces you have arrived – OH BOY! had we arrived – right to the very house we wanted to peek at. As it stood right before us – we squealed – EEEEeeek! We couldn’t get out of the car fast enough, both rushing to the doorbell, dying for the door to open. WOWZA – what a house.

Nominated by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation as a Class 1 Historic Site, and it deserves to be, and needs to be on the list – totally AMAZING. The minute you enter – you feel like you are apart of a glamorous MCM moment – walking right into a ‘set’ – it is so mid-century perfect. We gushed over every room – every view – every detail. We are still gushing thinking about it. This home wraps up into one perfect parcel – everything quintessential about Palm Springs Mid Century Modern. The Architecture coupled with the Gand’s impeccable taste in art and collectibles makes this house feel that way. Now – how do we get ourselves invited to the next cocktail party.

Look at that garden. We could be happy here living outside in the pool on a float, where we can admire the garden and be mezmerised by the kinetic sculptures as they dance in the wind. Those windows you see, they are giant sliding doors that open the house up to: the swim-up bar; and the sunken living room.

Back inside – who doesn’t love a Malm fireplace in their master bedroom? A dreamy house – every room is fabulous – see we are still gushing. For sure this is our Palm Spring MCM fave. Thanks for the invite Joan & Gary, and thanks for putting up with our ‘teenage fan club’ behavior. You can read more about the house here and here.

And one last note, that is equally impressive – the living room / pool is the subject of this SHAG piece of art called “The Impostors” you can purchase it here. Gary Gand is sporting a hat on an eames lounger, whilst Joan Gand is looking glam sipping a cocktail – seated on the stairs. Can you see why we want to go to party here – this piece captures the feel of the home perfectly. Cheers!

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Modernism Week 2018

We are excited to announce that the Frost House has been invited to attend Modernsim Week in Feb 2018. We will be providing a virtual experience on the house in the form of a ‘photography’ rich presentation.

We are seriously so honored to be called, even if we are filling a spot at the last minute for someone that could not longer attend – we will take it. Every time our story is told we hear from people that can provide us with more information about Emil Tessin or Alside Homes Corp. or lead us to finding one of the 96 homes.

HOWEVER, if you are attending Modernism Week – please do come to our talk. Our Mum/Mom’s can’t make it so we would be so grateful if you could make it to fill some seats so we are not talking to an empty room – we might even have a little gift as a token of our appreciation for your attendance. so please follow the link to buy tickets –>

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Here are some details about the event:
“INSTANT HOUSE. It will come delivered in two trailer trucks and within 48 hours will be completely assembled down to the last fixture and appliance.” LIFE Magazine August 18th, 1961.
Join the current owners of The Frost House’, as they share stories of living in an intact 1960’s prefabricated display home’. It is a remarkable time-capsule that is still furnished with its original sales model’ first-edition furniture from Knoll International, original kitchen with case design work by Paul McCobb, appliances, fittings and fixtures — even the original curtains. The home has been relatively untouched since it first went on the market to attract buyers to a new development in Michigan City, Indiana.
It still looks like the sales brochure. The steel, glass and aluminum flat roof home with its baked enamel panels of green, yellow and blue was so astounding to a local doctor that he insisted on buying the display model’ exactly as he experienced it. Dr. Robert Frost and his wife Amelia raised their children there and lived in the home until his death, leaving all the furniture basically where it stood when they bought it. Follow along on the journey to uncover the history of the home’s manufacturer, Alside Homes Corp, and the architect Emil Tessin, the son of Emil Albert Tessin, the legal guardian of Florence Knoll.