Palm Springs Atomic Ranch Is A Tiki Time Capsule

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As we have pointed out before, sometimes the Wednesday WTF is something that hurts our feelings, and sometimes — as is the case in this week’s Tiki time capsule — it’s something we can’t believe exists for our viewing pleasure.

A bit of history — after servicemen began returning from the South Pacific theater (and thanks to movies like “South Pacific”), interest in Polynesian-inspired everything blossomed in the 1950s and 60s.

Enter the Royal Hawaiian Estates in Palm Springs, a 40-condo project designed by architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison in 1961. 

Built with all the features you’d expect from a Polynesian-inspired project, each unit boasts angled ridged beams with “Tiki-apexes” and Flying Sevens beam extensions at the patios.

But by 2020, you’d expect that the architectural features would be the only thing that stood the test of time, the march of progress. But at least one unit has become a wonderfully curated showcase — even a time capsule — of an Atomic Ranch Tiki-inspired abode.

The two-bedroom, two-bath unit that went up for sale (and is now taking backup offers) less than two weeks ago is priced at an incredibly affordable $489,000. 

But what’s even more incredible is the step back in time it affords. Grasscloth wall coverings, flaming torches, Tiki carvings, lots of tropical floral prints, and plenty of rattan. 

The kitchen and bathrooms have been updated, but in ways that don’t feel jarring to the rest of the vintage-feeling home. 

A second living area could also become a third bedroom.

And if this wasn’t enough, the property is the unit furthest from any main streets, and has unobstructed views of the San Jacinto mountains. And since it’s a historic property, it benefits from tax laws that provide large reductions in property taxes.  

So, dear readers, what do you think? Love it? Think it’s too Tiki heavy? Weigh in at the comments.

Want to see more of the house? Click here. Want more Wednesday WTF? Here you go.

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Adlene Neely Dealey

Adlene has been a real estate writer for the better half of a decade, but only recently came to to write our Wednesday WTF column. Have a doozy of a listing not fit for public consumption? She wants to see it.

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