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|Our natural landscape, spectacular views and the year-round weather led us to the decision to open our house to others who appreciate this special relaxing lifestyle in the tranquil desert setting.|
This unique John Porter Clark and Albert Frey architectural gem was designated "Historic Landmark #50" last month and has been described by author and former Architectural Digest editor Elizabeth McMillian as breathtaking in every way. "The very best of Palm Springs is offered in this home, featuring five spectacular suites with five en-suite luxury bathrooms."
Professionally appointed with a blend of classic and modern decor, this home underwent an exemplary restoration in 2006. I wanted the entire feel of the home to be light and relaxing with a little bit of fantasy and a hint of Hollywood Regency," adds Mullen. "And I wanted a monochromatic color scheme. Turquoise was one of the colors used in the 1940s interiors. I liked it as a refuge from the desert heat." William Kopelk, President of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation attended a fundraiser at the home, and described the attention to detail as "remarkable."
The property is gated and hedged for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation, and sits on an acre in the exclusive Little Tuscany Estates area of Palm Springs. The home is nestled on a hillside with spectacular 360 degree views of Palm Springs, neighboring cities, and unobstructed views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Amenities include extensive media, central sound, state of the art security, a steam room, custom king size outdoor sun beds, a Viking kitchen, timeless white carrara marble in the kitchen and bathrooms, an outdoor movie theater with surround sound, a salt-water pool, and an upper sundeck that features a retractable roof, a private massage area & flat screen TV. The approximately 3,500 square foot travertine stone rear terrace connects with pathways that extend to several sitting areas that abut the natural desert landscape.
The property's history is rich. John and Fannie Hamrick commissioned John Porter Clark and Albert Frey as architect-builders for their home. The plot plan is dated April 18th, 1941, followed on July 28th, 1941 by the architectural and structural drawings. At the direction of the Hamricks, who owned the house for 62 years, the house was completed in late 1941-early 1942.
Clark and Frey are two of the best-known architects in Palm Springs' architectural history and, collectively, were responsible for designing many significant buildings in the city including City Hall, 1952, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station, 1949, among many other public and private residences. Hamrick House is a one-story Mediterranean/Spanish Revival home originally designed with a tile roof, a stone chimney, stone pilasters, stone garage walls, a stone wall along the property's North border, semi-circular pebble driveway, four bedrooms and four bathrooms, a two-car attached garage, kitchen, step-down dining, living room with fireplace, and a flat rear yard designed for a future pool. Later, on December 10th, 1947, the Hamricks commissioned Frey and Clark to design an enclosed sunroom or lanai at the rear of their property, as well as an additional bathroom in a west bedroom expansion. The sunroom would overlook the natural desert landscape, mountains, and the city lights beyond.
John and Fannie Hamrick owned a series of motion picture theaters in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland (the Hamrick Evergreen theaters as they became known in the late 1940's). Mr. Hamrick introduced the Vitaphone, or sound, to his motion pictures on March 18, 1927 at the Blue Mouse Theater in Seattle. The Hamricks were avid golfers and had been coming to Palm Springs since the 1930's. Around 1940, the couple purchased three lots in Little Tuscany that included the one for their main residence, now known as 875 W. Chino Canyon Rd. On the lot to the North of their residence, the Hamricks built and sold a second home to defray the initial cost of $5,000 to remove the boulders from the lot for their residence. The third lot was for a future home for his daughter (never built). (The Hamricks also owned a large home in Seattle, which was sold soon after John Hamricks death.)
According to Darle Mavetty, Mr. Hamrick's niece (still living in Palo Alto), the house was completed at the end of 1941 because Mr. Hamrick was very concerned about the availability of materials-especially with the beginning of World War II.
Hamrick House was photographed by Maynard L. Parker and published in California Pictorial magazine in the Spring 1942 edition. The interiors were furnished by Barker Bros. of Los Angeles with renowned decorator R. D. Harrell acting as principal designer. California Pictorial described Harrell's original Hamrick House: "the entire effect of the house is light, high-spirited, gay and cheerful, a faithful reflection of the mood of the desert resort."
According to family relatives, the decorator who had the largest influence on Fannie Hamrick was their close friend Arthur Elrod of Palm Springs. In 1957 and 1958 the middle bedroom and living room were recreated with deep rich toned walls that contrasted the light furniture and fabrics. Elrod, besides being an active supporter of the Desert Museum, is best known as the designer of the Bob Hope residence.
The Hamrick family gave Clark and Frey's plans to the current owners, Boston-born designer Mark Anthony Puopolo and two-time Emmy®-Award winning Associate Director of The Young and the Restless Christopher Mullen. Puopolo and Mullen each share a passion for historic homes, and have restored homes with varying architectural styles ranging from an 1886 Queen-Anne Victorian, a 1911 Craftsman and a 1923 Pueblo Revival. Their firm, CM Design, has become a one-stop company for the restoration of historic properties, from design to permitting, to building and landmarking. They work with a team of artisans and trades people to blend an old world look and feel with today's modern luxuries. And they know how to work with the appropriate city departments in following historic guidelines and in designating significant properties as landmarks. In this manner, they add value to an owner's property, as well as sometimes applying for California Mills Act contracts, which can often result in a property tax savings of more than 50 percent. Part of their work at Hamrick House included returning original features such as the bookcases in the living room, and adding the originally planned swimming pool, as well as updating the home with today's modern conveniences.
For more information, availability and photos click here: www.hamrickhousepalmsprings.com
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