Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage is known as the playground of presidents and home to top entertainers and professional athletes. It is considered one of the most, exclusive and historic neighborhoods in the greater Palm Springs desert area.
At the crest of Thunderbird Heights, this Mid-Century Modern-style home has a spectacular 180-degree view of the desert, framed on both sides by the San Jacinto Mountains and visible from every room.
Markus Canter of St. James + Canter in our Beverly Hills office is listing agent for the three-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom house with an attached one-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse, listed for $3,600,000.
Recently updated, the 7,709-square-foot home was originally completed in 1985 for Charles and Anne Taylor as their “perfect weekend retreat.” Charles was president of a firm that made heating systems for orbiting satellites, and Anne was an accomplished musician and former concert pianist. This exquisite estate not only reflects the couple’s taste and lifestyle, but also is a shining testimony to their abilities as designers, builders, and interior decorators.
Anne Taylor, an accomplished musician, often gave concerts for the couple’s many friends on either the home’s Steinway 9-foot concert grand piano that Roger Williams played on tour, or the Hammond X-66 organ that was formerly housed in The Forum in Inglewood. Williams was convinced that the concert grand would be acoustically perfect in the room. He came over and played during visits to the desert, along with other notables such as Buddy Rogers and Robert Goulet.
At their 30th wedding anniversary, Charles and Anne invited 296 people to their home for cocktails, followed by a sit-down dinner at Thunderbird Country Club. After dinner, Buddy Rogers on trombone, Jeannette Banoczi (formerly with Ina Rae Hutton) on trumpet, Carmen Dragon’s brother, Roland Dragon on sax, and Anne on the piano gave a special anniversary performance that delighted the guests.
The home was featured in Palm Springs Life Magazine in November 1985 and the Palos Verdes Review in December 1987. Thunderbird has been home to many well-known desert dwellers, including former President Gerald Ford, televangelist Oral Roberts, and TV star Lucille Ball, among others.
Exquisite carved-wood double doors, each weighing 330 pounds, welcome guests into the house. Throughout the home are 50 tons of Apache brown rock laid by master craftsman Mariano Quiroz to create what appears to be a mortarless wall. The process, called “chinking,” was used in the entryway, primary and guest bathrooms, planters, spa, waterfall, and fire pit. The same rock is used in the entry, primary and guest bathrooms, planters, spa, waterfall, fire pit, pool coping, and in expansion joints around the driveway and pool deck.
Flanked on each end by the primary and guest suites, the vast living space includes a sunken living room, dining room, morning room, guestroom/den, and family room. The fireplace is faced with pink marble from Portugal.
The property features an air-conditioned 20-by-40-foot racquetball court with a 20-foot-high ceiling and its own entrance from the hallway. The court is designed so that guests can also play basketball, pickleball, badminton, squash, volleyball, or handball.
The massive primary bedroom and huge spa bathroom reflect the Zen contemporary feeling of the house. The guest bathroom features one of the home’s 14 skylights, a leaded beveled-glass door, and lots of white onyx and marble.
While building the residence, the original owners installed triple insulation, so even in the summer, air conditioning is often not needed. Home chefs will love the large catering-style kitchen with four full ovens, designed for easy entertaining and big parties.
Comforts include a sophisticated alarm system, indoor temperature controls, and sensors to maintain the water level in the pool.
On the patio, a barbecue, spa, pool, and fire pit for cool weather make outdoor entertaining enjoyable all year. The pool area offers a panoramic view of the mountains and a serene setting.
The 600-square-foot guesthouse comes with a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a 43-foot porte-cochere off the five-car garage.
If you are interested in calling this property home, whether year-round or as your “perfect weekend retreat,” get in touch with Markus Canter today.