Friday, May 7, 2010

Max Palevsky Residence

According to the LA Times, "computer technology pioneer and venture capitalist Max Palevsky, perhaps best-known for funding then-startup chipmaker Intel Corp., has died. He was 85. Palevsky died of heart failure Wednesday at his Beverly Hills home. The early high-tech pioneer became famous for having transformed mainframe computer builder Scientific Data Systems into an industry powerhouse that he sold to Xerox for $1 billion in 1969. The billionaire financier and philanthropist then became a founder and director of chipmaker Intel. He left the corporate world in the 1970s. Over the years, Palevsky helped finance then-fledgling Rolling Stone magazine, bankrolled movies, became a political activist and built a world-renowned art collection that transformed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art."

His interest in art extended beyond paintings and sculpture to include architecture. He commissioned Craig Ellwood (1922-1992), often referred to as “California’s Mies van der Rohe,” to design Scientific Data Corporation’s headquarters. Ellwood, who was born Jon Nelson Burke, was the definitive Hollywood-style building designer who was largely responsible for the modern image of architecture as a glamour profession. In addition to Palevsky’s corporate projects, in 1969-69 Ellwood also designed Palevsky’s Palm Springs home on West Cielo Drive on what was then described as “the best site in Palm Springs.” The house was based on desert houses in Casablanca that were white-walled compounds with structures set within rectangular walls, and it is beautifully integrated into its boulder-strewn site. Its minimalist aesthetic makes it one of the town’s most enigmatic structures. I had always wanted to nominate the property as a Class 1 Historic Site, and was told that Palevsky was supportive of the potential designation. With his support, the nomination would have sailed through the process. I hope Max rests easy; his was a great gift to the architectural history of Palm Springs. I do wonder what will happen to the house now that Max is gone...


  1. I did a lot of work on Max's Palm Springs home in the 90's. Joe Wieser directed my efforts in a bunch of innovative solutions to preserve and maintain what is now a piece of Max's legacy, 1021 Cielo. With Credos to Craig Ellwood also. May Max and Craig both rest easy knowing they created cool things and thought big.

    I had the priviledge to meet Max Palevsky. To me he was both impressive and unassuming. Specific about the result he desired and prompt with payment.
    The personal impact upon each of our lives here in the two-thousands that this man had is awesome. His role in the information age is epic. His atypical role as a wealthy supporter of progressives is even more epic. Thank you, Mr. Palevsky, sir. For your brilliant contributions to humanity. Rest in peace.

  2. My name is Christopher Georgesco.
    I saw my Father is included in your Symposium Modernism 101 on Feb 5. at The PS Museum.
    I also noticed my fathers name was spelled wrong. The proper spelling is
    HARLAN H. GEORGESCU.(Architect. A.I.A.)

    Please take a look at my web Site. I am a Modernist Sculptor living in Palm Springs and would be happy to supply you with information and Images you may find useful on my Fathers behalf.

    My web Site has a Harlan Georgesu Link:
    Please feel free to use any Images you like. The Images that are from the Getty Archives must be credited as such. Images from the Mincu University in Bucharest must be credited as such.

    I am a Modernist Sculptor born in 1950. I happen to be having a Opening for my Sculpture Exhibition the night before your Symposium at:
    Michael H. Lord Gallery
    1090 North Palm Canyon
    Feb 4....6-8 pm
    There is Full Page Ad in This February Issue of "Palm Springs Life".

    I have been recently been referred to in the press as "The New Modernist" in Palm Springs since my Sculpture "Balzac" was installed by the City of Palm Springs on the corner of San Andreas Rd and Palm Canyon Drive. The apple does not fall far from the tree and I was encouraged by Father to pursue a carrier in Art. He saw my Talent and told I would always be Free as a Artist. He was Right.

    It would be interesting meeting you hope I can fill you in any information you may not have on my Fathers Behalf.

    I accompanied him many times to Palm Springs as a child. Please feel free to contact me for any information you may be curious about. I would be honored to contribute all I can for my Father. I realize he is one in hand full of talent but as such I would like to contribute what I can. I think I am the closest source available on him since his passing in 1976.

    His most Famous design in Palm Springs was The Chi Chi Club for Howard Lapham along with many of Howard's Modernist projects. His name was not mentioned as my Father was Paid for his Design Services on many Howard's Modernist Projects.

    His Renderings were used for their High Quality Craftsmanship in Charcoal and more than not sold Howard's Projects.

    It seems the Georgesco name is now becoming more synonymous with Palm Springs between the 2 of us. The Architect Harlan Georgesu and me the son Sculptor Christopher Georgesco.

    Hope to hear from you. As you can imagine I would like to do what I can on my Fathers behalf. It would be interesting meeting you at Michael H. Lord Gallery for my Opening Feb 4. Please feel free to contact me.I may be able to fill in some missing blanks.If I can participate on the Symposium I would be more than happy to contribute and answer any questions I can that may arise.

    Best Wishes,
    Thank you for including my Father.
    Christopher Georgesco
    (760) 329-3500