To meet the need for mass-market housing in a growing city, Alexander Construction Company made housing more accessible and changed the face of Palm Springs with it. The city grew with the addition of more than 2,500 innovative Modernist homes. Alexander Construction is said to have doubled the size of the city with their developments.
About the Alexander Construction Company
Early Alexander ads read “Designed by Architects, Built by Master Builders for Permanent Value.” This emphasized design and construction quality. The uncomplicated, light and airy designs appealed to buyers looking for a more carefree way of life. Working closely with architect William Krisel, the team kept costs down and quality high.
Affordable Palm Springs Modern
To keep costs down, the Alexander Construction Company planned efficiently, used simple construction and got creative with resources. Decorative and structural value shows in exposed roof planks that accent ceiling beams. The three-quarter walls let light stream through, cutting material costs. In addition to saving money, choosing not to use molding and trim also shaped a new look. By re-using the floor plan, they also saved on construction costs.
Alexander Construction throughout the City
While footprints were nearly identical, architect William Krisel oriented and embellished each house differently. The personal touches on Alexander Construction homes created a collection of connected, but unique homes. The Twin Palms Estates tract includes two palm trees in the front landscaping of each lot. Krisel planned for landscaped berms in the front yards. While creating custom yards, the idea also cut some of the construction site dirt removal costs.
Enlarged Alexanders and Deluxe Amenities
As building continued, the Alexanders maintained the fundamentals while increasing in size. Offering terrazzo-like vinyl flooring, mirrored walls, deep roof overhangs, insulation and plenty of other choices, a buyer could create a completely unique home. For flexible consistency, the signature two trees in the front yards are not always palm trees.
Helene Alexander loved Krisel’s lavish Alexander spec house so much, she insisted they move into it themselves. In addition to the Alexanders, Elvis and Priscilla Presley used the house for a year as their honeymoon hideaway. (Read and see more of the house here.) Abruptly ending business and saddening their close friends and community, the Alexanders died in a foul-weather private plane crash on November 14, 1965.
Modernism Week in Palm Springs
The 2021 Modernism Week Fall Preview is the perfect time to explore more Mid Century Modern neighborhoods in Palm Springs. Take a guided tour of Indian Wells including the village and walking the interiors and exteriors of the historic neighborhood. Get your tickets here and tour the Albert Frey home while you’re in the area!
Nearly as famous as the town itself, Alexander Construction Company’s Alohaus Swiss Miss brought a modern Hawaiian twist to Palm Springs!