In Palm Springs, the mecca of midcentury modern architecture, Sunnylands is the undisputed masterpiece. With its celadon green and yellow interior and giddy pink roof, it was a Downton Abbey for the Space Age.
There is no other house like it anywhere. Designed by one of California’s most important architects, A. Quincy Jones, it possesses the only completely preserved interior by Hollywood’s decorator-to-the-stars, William Haines. Completed in 1966, Sunnylands was built by ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg, and became a seat of power where presidents, movie stars, and corporate leaders met, relaxed, and ran the world— with nobody watching.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of Sunnylands to the public, this revised edition adds 32 pages of brand new photography, including: the contemporary visitor center designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners; the mature 15 acres of contemplative gardens by James Burnett; a new LEED Platinum building by o2 Architecture with 17 acres of breathtaking net-zero plantings by CMG Landscape, not open to the public and only accessible within the pages of this book; and public programs and art installations including two for the world-renowned Desert X festival. Lavishly illustrated, this book is a must-have for fans of midcentury design.
Janice Lyle was the director of the Sunnylands Center & Gardens from 2008 to 2022. Her knowledge of the history of the house and access to the Sunnylands archives is unparalleled. Former executive director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, Lyle has lectured extensively on modern architecture and lived in one of the most famous Palm Springs midcentury houses, Frey II.
Interior designer Michael S. Smith, who was responsible for the 2010 makeover of the Oval Office, designed the interiors of the Sunnylands Center, referencing the aesthetic of the historic house. He lives in Santa Monica and Rancho Mirage.
Interiors photographer Mark Davidson has shot assignments for the Smithsonian, Getty Museum, and Hammer Museum. He lives in Seattle.
“The definitive chronicle of Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s sprawling Rancho Mirage estate—originally published in 2016—has been updated to celebrate the 10th anniversary since the historic property opened to the public. . . . The lavishly illustrated book. . . offers the most comprehensive inside look at the rich history of [the] iconic desert retreat.”
C California Style & Culture