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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Alexander, Dr. Franz. Residence
Reference Number 16000093
State California
County Riverside
Town Palm Springs
Street Address 1011 West Cielo Drive
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 3/22/2016
Areas of Significance Architecture
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The Dr. Franz Alexander Residence is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the local level of significance under Criterion C in the area of Architecture, in representing the work of master architect Walter S. White, and for its high artistic value. Designed by architect, industrial designer, inventor and builder Walter S. White (1917-2002), the Dr. Franz Alexander Residence exemplifies an expert orchestration of four concerns that are rarely found in a single work of residential architecture. White devised a structural system whose engineering displays both artistry and economy. The dwelling's precise orientation to its eccentric site displays a seasoned experience with the desert sun and winds of northern Palm Springs, demonstrating White's life-long commitment to developing both kinetic and passive responses to a variety of environments whether in the Colorado mountains or the California desert. The residence embodies an important tenet of Modernism in exploring the untapped potential of humble materials, whether it is the setting's ancient fabric of boulders or wood 2x4s, American construction's ultimate prefabricated unit. Finally, the house richly engages its setting, appearing to float above its harsh, rugged site at one end of the building while the other end appears to emerge from the earth. The period of significance is 1956, when construction was completed.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria