Ganz interessanter Nachruf, weil er auch darauf eingeht, wie FS 1947 sein Haus in Palm Springs plante.
Architect whose design for Frank Sinatra's house launched a style of desert modernism dies at age 95
by Christopher Reed
Tuesday November 1, 2005
The Guardian (England)
It would be an exaggeration to claim that Frank Sinatra started an architectural movement in the California desert, but certainly his choice of a contemporary design over the Georgian mansion he originally preferred set a trend with international influence. Sinatra's architect, E Stewart Williams, who has died aged 95, vividly recalled the singer placing his order on May 1 1947. He walked into the Williams' family office in Palm Springs, the resort then popular with Hollywood stars, wearing a sailor's cap and sucking an ice cream. "I wanna house," he barked.
It was to be Williams' first commission, but to his alarm he realised that Sinatra wanted the building ready by Christmas for a party. To make matters worse, the singer favoured a Georgian mansion, a style hardly suitable in an arid, cactus-dotted valley where summer temperatures could reach 120F and exceeded 100F for weeks on end.
So Williams presented Sinatra with two drawings. One showed the Georgian design, the other a single-storey house with a "shed roof" - flat but slightly sloping - and long, horizontal lines, windows down to the ground, and framed not just with wood or brick, but steel and aluminium. It was a variation on the emerging style that became known, through Williams and his fellow regional
architects such as Albert Frey and Richard Neutra, as desert modernism.
Today, because of buildings they and others erected there, Palm Springs is a focus of modernist architecture, with structures from the town hall to banks, public buildings and private homes displaying an inspirational style that, sadly, disappeared in the 1970s. Sinatra's was one of the first and remains one of the most famous.
Williams' drawings persuaded the singer to go modern, and the house on Alejo Road was finished in time for the party. As Stewart's architectural partner, his brother Roger, said: "I'm so glad. We'd have been ruined if we'd been forced to build Georgian in the desert." Sinatra's house was known as Twin Palms after the two trees that still stand beside it, and featured a swimming pool shaped like a grand piano. Williams always insisted this was accidental, but with the sun at a certain angle it even casts shadows that look like piano keys.
Sinatra lived in the property with his first wife Nancy and family, and then with his second wife, Ava Gardner. In the late afternoons he would hoist a flag bearing the Jack Daniels whiskey logo to signal to neighbours that it was cocktail time. He stayed there for 10 years.
After divorcing Gardner, he lived in nearby Rancho Mirage until shortly before he died, occupying a huge compound and an architectually less distinguished property.
"Alte Wege, die wir wandern, werden neue Wege sein
unser Denkmal ist den andern dann ein Kilometerstein"
FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA
12.12.1915 - 14.5.1998
THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU
My Kind Of People!