Alexander Ranch Homes
New Riviera Gardens
The Alexander ranch homes located in the northwest section of the Racquet Club Estates have a unique history. The Alexander Construction Company built numerous tracts of the popular post and beam modern homes in neighborhoods throughout Palm Springs but by 1963 the sales of these homes had declined. There was much hope for the new steel homes tract developed by Wexler and Harrison to play a major role in the next chapter of the Alexander Construction Company. After only building 7 of the planned 38 homes adjacent to the Racquet Club Road Estates the cost of steel significantly increased and a change in plans was needed. George and Bob Alexander had 31 home sites to build on to finish this tract and had three other sites in Central and South Palm Springs in their queue.
As America's attention on Polynesian themes was growing, ingenious architects were not slow to combine the fantasy of Paradise Island with indoor/outdoor living possibilities in Palm Springs. The houses the Alexanders built on the 31 remaining quarter acre home sites were the first phase of their new “All Seasons” homes, designed by the prestigious architecture firm of L.C. Major and Associates. With their new 1,456 square foot spacious interiors, open floor plans, and improved insulation, these homes were now intended for year round living. The outside structures of these homes with their low hip roofline and angled beams have a distinctive Polynesian flair. Like other Alexander built tracts, all homes shared the same open floor plan but had different elevations and roof lines. Additionally, some were built with an attached garage and others had a traditional breezeway between the house and garage.
The ranch homes went on sale in 1964 and the new tract was called New Riviera Gardens. In an ad placed in the Desert Sun newspaper in January of 1964 it stated “The new Riviera Gardens have tram and mountain views from $19,950". This was the same year the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and the Riviera Resort were opened. Upon closing escrow of their new Alexander built home, Robert "Aloha-Bob" Paine the Alexander’s director of Sales would present the new homeowners with a Hawaiian Lei.
Between 1963 and 1965 The Alexanders went on to build 200 of these ranch homes in five locations throughout Palm Springs. New Riviera Gardens, Farrell Canyon Estates, Golf Club Estates, Sunrise Estates and Araby Estates.
The homes in the new Riviera Gardens started an important chapter in the legacy of the Alexander’s and many of us our proud to call these well built houses home.