Save The Wave - Miles Bates House
The Historical Society of Palm Desert is raising funds to help save and restore the Miles Bates house in Palm Desert, California, designed by architect Walter S. White. All funds donated will be dedicated exclusively to the saving of this house.
You can help by contributing your tax-deductible donation and Save The Wave!
The house, owned by the City of Palm Desert's defunct Redevelopment Agency, must be sold by June 30, 2018, the final date for all redevelopment assets to be sold. Unfortunately, the main value to an investor is the land, zoned for apartments. The Historical Society is looking for the right buyer, one who will pledge to rehabilitate this house.
In a separate fundraising effort, the Historical Society raised money to designate the house a historical landmark with a listing in the National Register, indicating that this is a significant work by a master architect. That application has been completed and filed.
Here's the history:
The Bates house in Palm Desert, California is a unique example of Walter S. White's amazing vision. The wave, or "roller coaster" roof is one-of-a-kind. White patented a method to use dowels to make the roof curve to imitate the mountains in the background, and only one was built. Commissioned by eclectic artist and playboy Miles C. Bates, the house was built in 1954 and is a premier example of mid-century modern architecture, with curved walls, uniquely-shaped clerestory windows and an underground cooling system. After years of neglect it has fallen into disrepair, although still structurally sound.
Save the Wave!
Images courtesy of the Art, Design and Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara
More good news, the City Council of Palm Desert voted this evening for local historical designation for the Miles Bates house, paving the way for even more protection for this desert gem.
More good news: the Historical Society of Palm Desert is sponsoring a Modernism Week FREE event February 15-25, 2018, from 12-3 PM daily at the Joslyn Center's Tobin Art Gallery: an exhibition of Walter S. White's work in the Coachella Valley, focusing on the Bates, Franz Alexander and Wilcockson houses, and much more. The Joslyn Center will host a reception fundraiser on Sunday the 18th from 2-5 PM, see the Modernism Week website for more information.
Good news, the State Office of Historic Preservation will review our nomination at its next meeting on February 2, 2018. Now is the time to send letters of support to: State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco, Attn: Amy H. Crain, Registration Unit, California State Office of Historic Preservation, 1725 23rd Street, Suite 100, Sacramento CA, 95816-7100. Or email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be received before January 11 to be included in the package; letters received after that date will be included in the file but may not be read by the Officer before the meeting. Thank you!
Hello again, this is an update about the City Council's vote not to support the nomination. Our consultant informed us that only private property owners can object to a nomination, and since the City owns the Bates house, it cannot object. We informed the City, and the upshot is, the Council will be rescinding it's earlier vote to object, soon. No letter of objection has been sent to SHPO. This means the Bates house could go all the way to listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Success!