Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Folded Plate Roofs Redux


I had an interesting and enlightening conversation with Bill Krisel recently, during which I encouraged him to take a glimpse at my Blog. He responded to the posting of the history of the folded plate roof in Palm Springs with some new information. Turns out the Alexander Construction Company built at least four Palmer & Krisel houses with folded plate roofs in 1956 (finished in 1957), two of which I have been to locate in Vista Las Palmas: 803 Monte Vista and 1102 Rose Avenue. Although they are hard to see from the street, they’re definitely there, and still intact, making them the oldest folded plate roofs in Palm Springs. The firm also designed some houses with barrel-vault entry canopies. The best example of this style that I could find is located at 891 Monte Vista, and although the barrel vaults survive, it looks like the building has been substantially altered from its original design.

Krisel also recalled his being influenced by Marcel Breuer’s MoMA house (see earlier posting); its long butterfly roof was the inspiration for his first ‘butterfly’ house, the Adolphe Stelzer Residence of 1950 in Brentwood. The Stelzers so loved their home that they bought a smaller second home by Krisel in Twin Palms. Sadly, the Brentwood home was replaced in 1990 by a 12,000 sq. ft. Tudor.

I also recalled seeing an early, undated Hugh Kaptur design study for Tony Curtis’ Caballeros Tennis Club. Although it was never built, it shows how popular the folded plate idea was in those years.