Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Ranch

Most of my energies are devoted to BBARH Ranch Estates. These homes are located between Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs on the grounds of the old B-Bar-H Ranch, a celebrity retreat prior to World War II. Stars like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, biggies like that from way back when would come to unwind , ride horses, do the whole camping and dude ranch thing. At night there would be swanky parties with dancing and what not. The developer was a producer named Lucien Hubbard, was involved with the film "Wings", the first best picture winner at the Oscars. Later he would have former Wright Apprentice John Lautner design a motel a few miles north, a motel that still stands. Building Modern here is a way to tap into both the celebrity connection as well as the Modern Architecture pedigree. You might say we are picking up a time tested method of building in the desert. Which frankly I think is a valid approach. There is a quiet restfullness to the stark setting here, the mountain panorama is striking, and at night the stars shine brightly as the developed areas are farther away here. It really is a wonderful combination of the Martini Modern lifestyle crossed with a zen-like setting.

The homes are set among existing non-modern residences, and the project calls for some 70 plus houses. We even have inspired two copycat builders building lookalikes here. The moderns sell better here though. Why build here? This is the most often asked question, why not in Palm Springs? The builders have built these homes in Palm Springs, but they wanted to do more than tap into the modern aesthetic, at the heart of building these homes out near Desert Hot Springs was the desire to make the houses affordable. Attainable Modernism is what it is all about, and the mix of buyers has proved this a correct move. Here you will find middle class full time residents alongside with more affluent weekenders, wanting a getaway but not a budget buster.

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