Saturday, April 15, 2017

Photo Essay: A Frank Sinatra Home, Upon the Demolition of Another

When I visited Frank Sinatra's "Twin Palms" estate in Palm Springs back in February as part of Modernism Week, I didn't know that there's another place where Ol' Blue Eyes once stayed that was slated for demolition this month.



That place is nicknamed the "Frank Sinatra Bungalow," and it's actually on part of a Hollywood lot that the LADWP wants to raze so it can expand its "Receiving Station H."



That Hollywood bungalow lacks any historic designation—maybe because it was more of a crash pad for Frank while he was recording his The Concert Sinatra album, unlike Frank's so-called "original Palm Springs estate" in the Movie Colony...



...where he raised his children, lost a wife, and replaced her with his lover, Ava Gardner.



Twin Palms is a relatively modest Desert Modern estate...



...that Frank commissioned architect E. Stewart Williams to build—with only three months' notice.



Its piano-shaped pool, pool house, and main residence are all available to rent for weddings, dinner parties, vacation rentals, photo shoots and such.



In 2011, the City of Palm Springs designated the Twin Palms estate a Class 1 Historic Site. In 2016, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (among a dozen of Williams' desert designs).



The bedrooms where he, his daughter Nancy, and many of their guests slept are saved (at least for now)...



...even though the Chairman of the Board only lived there from 1947 (when it was completed) until 1954.



He sold it in 1957 and subsequently lived at 70588 Frank Sinatra Drive.



For over four decades, the Movie Colony house was occupied by a couple from Texas who didn't exactly take care of the place...



...although it's since changed hands a couple of times and has been restored to its former glory.



Although Twin Palms is significant as an example of early Desert Modernism, the draw is really its Hollywood lore...



...when Frank was in a career slump and surrounded by scandal...



That was just before Frank first brought a glass of Jack Daniel's—three rocks, two fingers, and a splash of water—out on stage with him and declared it "the nectar of the gods," doubling its domestic sales within a year and plugging it enough to eventually make it a household name.

While the Twin Palms estate is a popular tour stop during the annual "Modernism Week" in Palm Springs, most people have probably never even heard of the Frank Sinatra bungalow in West Hollywood.

For now, it's still standing, and it's just gotten a temporary reprieve—for how long, we don't know—in order to study the feasibility of moving it somewhere. Seems like a good opportunity for Jack Daniel's, no?

Sign the petition to save the Frank Sinatra bungalow here.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: A Modernist Bachelor Pad Above Palm Springs
Photo Essay: Elvis' Honeymoon History at The House of Tomorrow
Photo Essay: The Other Elvis of Palm Springs, The Elvis of My Childhood
Photo Essay: At Home With Mr. Las Vegas