One of Richard Neutra’s Most Iconic Homes Hits the Market for $25 Million
Immortalized by photographer Slim Aarons, the Kaufman Desert House in Palm Springs was recently restored by Marmol Radziner
Immortalized by Slim Aarons in the iconic 1970 photo Poolside Gossip, the Kaufmann Desert House is one of modernist architect Richard Neutra’s most well-known works. Set on a 2.5-acre parcel in sun-soaked Palm Springs, the five-bedroom home was completed in 1948 for department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann, who also commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design the famed Fallingwater residence in rural Pennsylvania.
In the years following Kaufmann’s 1955 death, the Southern California retreat sat vacant and was subsequently purchased by businessman Gene Klein and, later, by crooner Barry Manilow. By the ’90s, however, the dwelling had fallen into disrepair. Seeing an opportunity to salvage an architectural treasure, the new owners—Brent and Beth Harris—enlisted award-winning firm Marmol Radziner to spearhead a sensitive renovation.
The studio, known for meticulous historic restorations, completed a five-year makeover by removing clunky additions and sourcing original materials wherever possible. Using archival images taken by photographer Julius Shulman, the firm was able to, according to its website, “recreate the dialogue between nature and sculpture in an area that had grown from a rugged desert into a suburban neighborhood.” The team even tapped Neutra’s favored manufacturers to recreate everything down to the door knobs.
Now on the market for $25 million, the 3,200-square-foot retreat has a cruciform shape spread across a single story. (The one exception is a rooftop terrace.) In the center are living and dining areas, while the wings contain the bedrooms. To accompany the pool, the current owners also added a pavilion with retractable walls that functions as an entertainment area, as well as a gym and steam shower. Rounding out the property is a tennis court nestled amid Zen gardens.
The home is listed with Gerard Bisignano of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. See more photos below.