Albert Frey House II
686 Palisades Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Photo by Lisa Corson, AFAR Media
Albert Frey House IIArchitecture geek or not, you only need a set of eyes to appreciate the Albert Frey House II. The innovative architect built his personal home on a mountain lot that to most people seemed uninhabitable, shaping a compact modernist glass-and-steel structure around a massive rock so it almost blends into the landscape. Even the interior takes its cues from the desert, with its original sky-blue ceiling and curtains to match the yellow Encelia flowers that bloom each spring. The glass invites in streams of light by day and reflects the stars at night, bringing the rooms to life in ways Frey surely planned. A longtime Palm Springs resident, Frey bequeathed his home to the Palm Springs Art Museum on his death in 1998, allowing it and its contents (including architectural drawings, correspondence, and personal effects) to be seen by people in the field of architecture. But even those not in the industry can get the full experience by booking through the Modern Tour at least 48 hours in advance. Tours are led by author and historian Michael Stern, who knew Frey—and many of the midcentury masters—so a deep dive full of insightful anecdotes is guaranteed.