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EMERSON STEWART WILLIAMS, FAIA (1909-2005)

 Williams grew up in Dayton OH where his father Harry was an architect.  He graduated from Cornell in 1932 then taught at Columbia 1934 to 1938.  Then Williams traveled through northern Europe and he met a Swedish woman who he would marry two years later. Upon returning to the US he worked in Raymond Loewy's office on projects for the 1939 New York World's Fair, and the Lord and Taylor department store in Manhasset NY in 1941, one of the first large suburban branches of a department store to be built.  Around 1941 Stewart returned to Palm Springs to work for his father's architecture firm.  By 1943 Williams was involved in the building of ships at the Bechtel Marin County facility in Sausalito CA followed by a stint with the Navy. Williams is honored on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Bio adapted from Wikipedia.


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1947 - The Frank Sinatra House, aka Twin Palms, 1148 East Alejo Road, aka 1145 East Via Colusa, Palm Springs CA. Built for Sinatra and first wife Nancy Barbato who divorced in 1948. Site of a famous fight between Sinatra and second wife Ava Gardner.  Sinatra moved out around 1956 and sold it around 1957 to a Texas couple who let it decline for 40 years.  Sold in 1997 for only $135,000.  Sold possibly twice more.  Sold in 2009 to Thomas and Marianne O'Connell. BW photos by Julius Shulman.  Available for tours and overnight rental. 


1947 - The Marjorie Main Renovations, 276 Palo Verde Avenue, Palm Springs CA. Originally designed and built in 1931, not by Williams.  Could also be plans for a new house; status unknown.  Needs verification.  Sold in 2008 to Troy Willams and Gino Dreese.


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1949 - The O. J. Guidry House, probably unbuilt.  Location unknown. 



1950 - The Huntington House, 1655 Old Mill Road, San Marino CA.  Phil Roulac developer.  Appears to have been added onto, last alteration was 2009.  Sold in 2018 to Gunter Salim Family Trust.


1950 - The Hilmer Leaf House, 1225 Oakwood Drive, San Marino CA. A Pace Setter house.  Sold in 1954 to Charles Hochberg.  Sold in 1959 to Robert Campin.  Sold in 2017 to Dr. Amal K. Obaid-Schmid.



1950 - The Fred Morgan House, 3105 Monterey Road, San Marino CA.  Phil Roulac developer.  Sold in 1995 to Chau Po Wei.



1950 - The Cecil Young House, 1845 Braemar Road, Pasadena CA.  Phil Roulac developer.  Address changed to 1825.  Sold in 1979 to Douglas and Christine Madsen.  House demolished and new house built in 2008.  Sold in 2019. Above photo is of new house.



1950 - The E. J. Sweetland House, 425 Woodfield Road, La Canada/Flintridge CA.  Sold in 2012 to Thomas and Diane Chen.  Demolished and new house built in 2016.   Top three photos are of original house, bottom photo is new house.





1951 - The Sam and Rose Maceo House, 43 Cedar Lawn, Galveston TX.  Commissioned 1950.  Sam Maceo liked the Sinatra house and wanted one like it.  He died before moving in. His wife Rose stayed until 1954, when she remarried.  On the market until 1961 when it was vandalized, then sold to Jack Evans. Sold to Robert Moody, Rose Maceo's nephew. Sold to Bart Moore. Sold to William Nealon.  Sold to James and Kimberly Penn. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Available for rental.






1951 - The Ralph and Nancy Chaffee Kiner House, 71279 Country Club Drive, Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA.   Sold in 2010 to Ken and Joanne Pfeifer.  Has been severely remodeled.
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1951 - The Albert H. Weinert House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA. Weinert was President of the Board of Directors for Smoke Tree Ranch.  Do you know where it is?

1951 - The Fred J. Andrew House Remodel, 1750 Los Robles, San Marino CA.  Original house was built in 1928.  Sold in 1945 to Fred Andrew.  For sale in 1965, then throughout the 1970's and 1980's.  Sold in 2000 to Gilbert and Alicia Saucedo.




1951 - The Robert Churchill House, 1151 Kewen Drive, Pasadena CA.  Demolished in 2011.  First photo original house, second photo new house.  Sold in 2016 to Wenjing Wei.



1951 - The Irvin B. Espenshade House, 855 Alameda Street, Altadena CA.  Original address 853 built in 1923.  Appears to be an addition, needs verification.




1951 - The W. F. Fahs House, 1321 Westhaven Road, San Marino.  For sale in 2001.  Sold in 2010 to Hao Sun Co. Trust.


1951 - The William Farris House, 8432 Yarrow Street, San Garbriel CA.  Demolished and new house built in 1966, address changed to 8434.  Photo above is house built in 1966.  Sold in 2002 to Christine Lam.



1951 - The Horace N. Gilbert House, 1815 Orlando Road, San Marino CA.  Phil Roulac developer.  Demolished 2008.  New house built in 2009 by architect Richard Keating for his own residence.  Still owned by Richard Keating and Bonnie Khang. 



1951 - The Dwight Palmer House, 2014 Pepper Drive, Altadena CA.  Sold in 2014 to Jaems Wong and Vivian Young.


1951 - Phil Roulac Development House, 1366 Oxford Road, San Marino CA.  Sold to Carol Legg.  Sold in 2009 to Maung Oo and the Oo and Taikwell Trust.



1951 - The G. E. Swanson House, 945 Hillcrest Place, Pasadena CA.  Phil Roulac developer.  Sold in late 1950's to William Burgess.  Sold in 2007 to Richard and Susan Feinberg.



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1951 - The Rubinyi House, 8221 Ashcroft, Los Angeles CA.  Needs verification.


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1951 - The G. E. Spencer House, Canyon Drive, Pasadena CA.  Needs address and verification.




1951 - The John A. Stever, Jr. House, 1195 St. Albans Road, San Marino CA.  Sold in 2005 to Man Yeh.  House demolished in 2014, new house built in 2015.  First photo is original home, second is current house.


 

1952 - The H. J. Bligh House, 40257 Club View Drive, Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA.  Next door to Cody's Jorgenson Residence.  Photo by Julius Shulman.  Sold to Loretta Nicastro.


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 1953 - The William Edris House, Little Tuscany Estates, 1030 West Cielo Drive, Palm Springs CA. B/W photos by Julius Shulman.  Sold in 2018 to Jon Roberts.


1954 - The Ernest Alschuler Remodel, 421 Santa Rosa Drive, Palm Springs CA. Needs verification.  Original home built in 1939 for Katherine Romer, designed by F. Nelson Breed.  Sold to Pamela Moffitt Green.


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1955 - The Randolph Christie House, 40137 Sand Dune Road, Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA.  On the 13th fairway of the golf course.  Destroyed. 

Front yard

 

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1955 - The Leon J. and Thea Koerner House, Deepwell Estates, 1275 South Calle de Maria (East Ocotillo Avenue), Palm Springs CA. Landscape design by Garrett Eckbo.  Williams also designed an addition in 1973.  Sold in 1997 to Henry and Allan Lamb.


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1955 - The Ernest Geierman House, Laguna Beach CA.  Unsure if built.  Do you know where it is?

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1956 - The E. Stewart and Mari Williams House, 1314 Culver Place, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1955.  BW photo by Julius Shulman.  Alterations in 1991. Sold to artist Dale Chihuly. Sold in 2002 to Mark E. Pollack.

 

1956 - The Roderick Kenaston House, 39767 Desert Sun Drive, Rancho Mirage CA.  Sold in 2007 to Daniel Ivascyn.  Sold to Lisa Brownell.


 

1957 - The H. E. Chiles, Jr. House, 7231 North Desert Fairways Drive, Paradise Valley AZ.  Deeded to his daughter, head of the Ballard Family Trust.


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1957 - The John M. Scott House, Thunderbird Country Club, Rancho Mirage CA.


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1958 - 1066 East Paseo El Mirador, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt.


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1960 - The Theodore and Marguerite Sutter House, Deep Well Ranch Estates, 1207 South Calle de Maria, Palm Springs CA. Commissioned 1958.  Interiors by Arthur Elrod.  B/W photos by Julius Shulman. Sold to Brian John Schipper.




1962 - aka the Little Tuscany Addition, 1025 West Chino Canyon Road, Palm Springs CA. Original home designed in 1952 by A. C. Martin from Los Angeles.  There were later remodels, not by Williams, and he dropped it from his project list.  Sold in 2009 to James and Kathleen Youngren.  Sold in 2016.


Inline image

1964 - The Harold and Mary Hicks House, 860 West Panorama Road, Palm Springs CA. Sold in 2014 to Brandon Creed. Interiors by Arthur Elrod.  


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1965 - The Bob Hope House, Palm Springs CA. Unbuilt. 
John Lautner later got the commission, which was built.

1966 - The Alma Walker House, 2433 Southridge Drive, Palm Springs CA.  Unbuilt. Article in the February 3, 1967 issue of the "Desert Sun" stated that the first shovel of dirt had been moved and Williams described the building as "a pavilion overlooking an 18' x 70' swimming pool, lined with olive trees through which a superb view of Mount San Jacinto could be admired."

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1967 - The Paul A. Schoellkopf, Jr. House, Smoke Tree Ranch, Palm Springs CA.  Do you know where it is?
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1970 - The Paul A. Schoellkopf, Jr. House, Buffalo NY.  Do you know where it is?


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1971 - The William Holden House, 2433 Southridge Drive, Palm Springs CA. The actor purchased the Alma Walker property above with the plans.  Unbuilt.  In 1977 Holden built a house there designed by Hugh Kaptur.


1977 - The Alan Leslie House, 1060 West Cielo Drive, Little Tuscany, Palm Springs CA.  Renovated in 2012 by Michael Johnston, who expanded the great room. Sold in 2013 to John Sherratt and David Howe.


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1985 - The Erik and Sidney Williams House, Palm Vista Estates, 800 West Stevens Road, Palm Springs CA.  Built for Williams' son and daughter-in-law. Williams did alterations in 1986. Sold in the early 1990's.  Sold in 2011 to Lee David Clark. Top photo by Michael Locke.

1988 - The Adrian and Cass Graff-Radford House, 40380 Desert Creek Lane, Rancho Mirage CA.  This was the last home Williams designed and the largest at just over 7400sf.  Sold to Ann Morrison. Designer Mark Nichols did renovations including rehabilitating mechanical systems and lighting, removing the roof to install the solar system, and over-scaled furniture. Sold in 2015 to Diane Rubin and Lenny Eber.
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1990 - The Linda Ragin and David Levine House, unknown location.  Unbuilt.

Sources include: Morris Newman, Melissa Riche, Catherine Westergaard Cramer.