It’s rare that journalists get to live the fabulous life. So when we do, we have to share it with you. Myself and AN contributor Greg Goldin took part in a great media panel on Friday in Palm Springs for the California Preservation Foundation Conference, with co-participants including author Alan Hess, Christopher Hawthorne (LA Times), Martha Groves (LA Times) and Kimberli Meyer (MAK Center). But what we really want to brag about was our dinner that night at Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House; one of the most famous homes in America.
The modernist gem sold for $19 million at a Christie’s auction last year, only for the sale to fall through shortly after. Thanks to the generosity of the house’s owner Beth Harris—one of the conference organizers— we and other attendees spent the evening dining on Pad Thai, wandering the house, and gazing out at the surrounding mountains at sunset. This was no tour. This was experiencing Kaufmann for real.
The home was recently renovated by LA firm Marmol Radziner, who spared no expense in returning it to its original state. Meanwhile the owners have increased its lot, which is full of great desert features, so it feels at one with the landscape around it. Harris also entertained us with stories, such as the time she returned home only to find that her mother had welcomed in a tour bus full of European students, having assumed that they had a planned tour. We also learned of the nearby animals, like skunks and bats, that like to hang out and try to take advantage of the home’s indoor outdoor features.