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Open House – Architect Walter S. White’s ‘Miles C. Bates house’ in Palm Desert

October 21, 2017 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm |


Even in its current unrestored, deteriorated condition, the Miles C. Bates house (1955) is stunningly beautiful and a unique example of architect Walter S. White’s amazing vision. Located on Santa Rosa Way in Palm Desert, the house is threatened with demolition unless a sympathetic buyer, with the passion and the funds to restore the house, comes forward to save it.

The significance of the Bates house cannot be overestimated and is perhaps the most important surviving W.S. White building in the Coachella Valley, even before the Dr. Franz Alexander House (1955) in Palm Springs, which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the Willcockson House (1959) in Indio, featuring a dramatic hyperbolic-paraboloid roof.

White designed numerous houses for Bates, but this one captures best both the essence of this client-architect relationship and the experimental character of White’s desert architecture. The home’s unique, patented roof structure floats like a wave over a minimal floor plan, linking an open interior with a citrus grove on the land surrounding the home, and evoking the silhouette of the mountains rising at the horizon.

For the first time open to the public, The City of Palm Desert and the Historical Society of Palm Desert invite you to an open house to view the interior of this important example of Palm Desert’s midcentury modern architectural heritage.


October 21, 2017
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Additional Information

No children under 12.
Things to Know
House is unrestored and is not ADA accessible House will be open at 12:00 Noon for 3 hours only, in groups of 10 at a time. Palm Desert Historical Society volunteers will oversee the visits and provide information about the house.
Photography Credits
Walter S. White papers, Architecture and Design Collection; Art Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara. Copyright: UC Regents.


Miles C. Bates House
73-697 Santa Rosa Way
Palm Desert, CA 92260 United States
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