In the summer of 1947, Frank Sinatra became enamored of the desert and strolled into the office of local architect E. Stewart Willams wearing a white sailor suit and enjoying an ice cream cone. He told the architect that he wanted to commission a house to be designed and built in time for Christmas.
The singer had in mind a Georgian-style manse with a brick facade and columns. It was the kind of house that signaled success back in Hoboken and even in Hollywood.
It is said that Williams dutifully complied and drew the requested design. But he also created a plan for a desert modern house and made his pitch for it. Frank was convinced by Williams’ renderings, which featured horizontal lines with big glass expanses. He reportedly promptly paid $150,000 for what would ultimately become one of the desert’s most famous midcentury houses.
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