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Sophisticated Sun Seeker: The Gillman Residence Tour

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will host a tour of the Herbert Burns-designed Gillman Residence (1948), sublime residential architecture with a fascinating preservation story.

$50 (30 min)

Category: Self-guided, Tour (Exterior), Tour (Interior)

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The George & Sadie Gillman Residence (1948), by architectural designer Herbert Burns, is an extraordinary piece of residential architecture which also tells a fascinating preservation story.  The home was lauded in a 1951 article in the Los Angeles Times Home Magazine which observed that, “those who come to the desert from cosmopolitan centers often bring with them a taste for sophisticated surroundings…[in the Gillman Residence] elements of stucco, glass and redwood have been fashioned into a smoothly flowing house of long, low lines, broken by balanced vertical masses of flagstone.  Set far back from the road against a mountain silhouette, it encircles a swimming pool with all rooms opening onto the concrete terrace.”

The detailing of the Gillman Residence is some of the finest and most unique of Burns’ career.  Additions in 1952 and 1955, while the Gillmans lived in the house, are seamlessly integrated into the original plan.  Unfortunately, a series of mishaps in the 2010s, left the home gutted, abandoned, and a neighborhood eyesore.  Fortunately, the home was purchased in June of 2019 by Thomboy, Inc. (aka “The Thomboys”).  Well-known for their rehabilitations of architecturally significant homes, the Thomboys enlisted PSPF board member Steven Keylon to consult during the restoration.  As a result, important Herbert Burns character-defining features were retained or restored.

As a special treat, Steven Keylon, author of PSPF’s popular 84-page book, The Design of Herbert W. Burns, will be available to sign copies of the book which may be purchased by tour goers at a special, discounted price of only $10 each!

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to educate and promote public awareness of the importance of preserving the historical resources and architecture of the city of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area.”  PSPF offers free membership as a public benefit.  To learn more about the work of the foundation see Palm Springs Preservation Foundation.


Things to Know
To avoid confusion, and as a courtesy to other tour goers, please arrive at your designated tour start time.
Shoe covers may be required.
This house has exterior steps.
No children or pets and no smoking please.
Restrooms are not available for tour use.
Large purses and/or backpacks are discouraged.
Interior photography is at the discretion of the homeowner.
Please be respectful of the neighborhood and do not park in front of mail boxes or driveways.
This home was on tour as a Modernism Week Showcase Home in 2020.
The organizer of this event is Palm Springs Preservation Foundation

Event Check-in Location
574 W Mariscal Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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Photo Credits: Lance Gerber 

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