Monday, February 15, 2010

Frank Sinatra’s Home

Built in 1947, the former Sinatra estate, called Twin Palms, is located in what used to be the heart of Palm Springs’ “movie colony,” not far from our hotel. Architect E. Stewart Williams reportedly completed the house in seven months--just in time for Frank’s big annual Christmas party. According to one account, the home was so popular with Sinatra’s Hollywood friends that it inspired others to move to the desert, helping usher in the wave of modernism that defines the area today.

From the street, the house looked like any of the other mid-century homes in the neighborhood. But the entrance soon took our breath away as it opened onto a huge piano-shaped pool. Just beyond was the house with its sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the pool. Though we were early, people were already touring the home by the time we arrived. A man wearing a vintage suit and Sinatra-style hat was pointing out historic architectural features.

As soon as we entered the living room, Tim made a beeline for Frank’s state-of-the-art recording console that controlled music piped throughout the house.

We then wandered the halls, admiring the view while pretending we were at a Rat Pack party. Frank Jr.’s bedroom--now covered in photos of Frank Sr. and various celebrities (note the prominent portrait of Ava Gardner)--was especially popular as we all tried to guess who was in each picture.

An outdoor buffet eventually forced us to join the other diners in the backyard. Our tablemates were a filmmaker and her husband, plus an "ex-pat" L.A. couple who now live in La Quinta but maintain a condo in Marina del Rey. After our fill of roast beef sliders (Tim) and chicken (me), we took one last stroll through the house before returning to the pool. In the distance I could see more food. Could it be dessert? Indeed! Hundreds of tiny cupcakes were elegantly stacked for our pleasure.

“Where have you been my entire life?” I asked, after biting into a scrumptious strawberry champagne cupcake. I grabbed a lemon tart and one more cupcake (white chocolate raspberry--yum!), before Tim dragged me away toward the car. A truly magical evening.

The master bedroom

The guest bedroom

Frank Jr,'s bedroom

1 comment:

Mike said...

Writhing with jealousy!!