Steel Modern After All These Years House Tour - Modernism Week - Palm Springs

Posted on March 01, 2013 by Mary Frances Sundberg

Our second day of Modernism Week we had signed up for two tours. The first being Steel Modern After All These Years.  This was a tour that we were really looking forward to. We love modern houses and we love prefab buildings especially. Being able to view houses that had both of these characteristics was exciting.

The description of the Steel Modern After All These Years Tour from

“Steel Modern After All These Years is a fascinating and educational tour of three steel houses built in 1937, 1962 and 2012.  Tour-goers will receive a scholarly 8-page tour booklet describing the architectural importance of these extraordinary houses.  This unique tour will feature a rare and remarkably intact early steel house by General Houses, Inc. (Fisher, 1937), one of the iconic Steel Development Houses (Wexler & Harrison, 1962) and a new steel house constructed by Blue Sky Building Systems (O’Donnell, 2012).  The 1962 steel house was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

This tour consisted of 3 steel houses:

The first house is a rare and early steel house. Manufactured by General Houses and designed by Howard T. Fisher – 1937. Every part of this residence was made by mass production in a factory. The steel frame bolted together. The inside walls are made of plyboard. Both inside and outside walls could be finished in any colour. The landscaping of this home is beautiful. The front and back gardens were very inviting. This home was last purchased in 1962 and the owner continues to reside there.

Steel Development House No. 2 was our second stop. Designed by Wexler & Harrison – 1962. Architects Wexler & Harrison designed an entire prefabricated subdivision of steel homes. Only seven were actually built. All of the rooms of this home feature sliding glass doors that open onto beautiful patios and a swimming pool. This house has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. We enjoyed seeing the furnishings of this home. Every room was well thought out.

The third house – Gilbert-Troost Residence - is a new steel house designed by architect Lance O’Donnell built 2012 and constructed by Blue Sky Building Systems. This 1,700 square foot home is prefab at its best. From the carport to the adjoining casita to the outdoor pool and entertaining area, this was just amazing.  The owners have furnished this home with comfortable yet modern furniture. The artwork and the cool phones are the icing on the cake. We cannot say enough about this incredible home. This is an energy-efficient home. The cost was $280 per square foot, making it very affordable. One of its best features is that you can rent this home and enjoy it for yourself! The information for renting this property is here:

House # 1 – photo from

Front exterior pic. of Steel Development House No. 2

One of the patios off the den. – Steel Development House No. 2

Another patio from – Steel Development House No. 2

Loving the Jetsons! – Steel Development House No. 2

Gilbert-Troost Residence at night – photo from

Beautiful night sky view from Gilbert-Troost Residence at night – photo from

Amazing view of the outdoor area at Gilbert-Troost Residence – photo from

One of the Bedrooms at Gilbert-Troost Residence

Beautiful interiors at Gilbert-Troost Residence

How cool is this phone? Gilbert-Troost Residence

Outdoor shower at Gilbert-Troost Residence

Streetview of Gilbert-Troost Residence - photo from

This is the second blog in a series we are doing about our visit to Modernism Week. Stay tuned for more.