Thursday, 06 October 2016 19:21

Jack Meiselman, Palm Springs Architect

Written by Jeff Shotwell
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Palm Springs has its own undeniable (and arguably world-famous) style. It also has attitude. Combine the two and what frequently comes to mind are the iconic modern-style houses of the late 50s and early 60s. Like famous works of art, these houses are referred to by the names of their architects and though Palm Springs has "Alexanders" a-plenty, there is much to be said for the "Meiselmans" as well. Jack Meiselman, that is. 

From 1959-1960, Meiselman constructed nearly 200 houses in Palm Springs. While this may seem like quite a lot, the Alexander Construction Company produced about 2,500 similar houses around the same time, making Meiselman houses the truly rarer gems. Another unique aspect that differentiates Meiselmans from Alexanders is placement. Meiselman preferred to construct his houses with only one or two at a location, scattered throughout the city; the Alexander Construction Company, however, bought up huge plots of land, frequently building hundreds of houses at one site.

While all modern-style houses share a simplicity of design, with tall windows and flat, undecorated exteriors, there is one architectural aspect that Meiselman adored: "butterfly" roofs. Flat roofs are often characteristic of modern houses, but Meiselman loved to sharply angle roofs with a center crease lower than the edges. To some eyes, the effect is like an enormous rectangular butterfly perched on the house, hence the unusual name.

Other decorative features of Meiselmans include large glass walls that provide an unobstructed view both of the swimming pool outside and the gorgeous Palm Springs scenery. Meiselman was also fond of making both functional and decorative exterior walls out of meticulously-designed concrete bricks. Such walls are not only beautiful to look at, but also allow breezes to pass through and provide shade as well. Lastly, Meiselman homes were all originally installed with central heating and air conditioning, a very rare commodity in 1959. 

Rarer in number, and perhaps not immediately distinguishable from the masses of modern-style houses in Palm Springs, Meiselmans are still classic examples of this extremely popular style. Though originally part of a mass-market trend for affordable houses, these bungalows became much better known for the celebrities who adored them as week-end getaway locales. So, while the name "Jack Meiselman" may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think about Palm Springs, don't forget the man who had a helping hand in making the city as iconic as it has become. 

WHERE TO STAY?

Looking for Palm Springs Vacation Rentals?  ModMansions offers the best Palm Springs Rentals available and all of our properties have been remodeled for today's traveller. Check out our Palm Springs vacation homes and Palm Springs luxury vacation rentals and give us a call to book your incredible Palm Springs getaway today - (760) 209-4311

ModMansions is pleased to offer a beautiful and completely remodeled Meiselman House in our portfolio.

 

Read 839 times Last modified on Thursday, 06 October 2016 19:57

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