The Morse House is suspected to be a design by American architect William Krisel (famous for developing popular Alexander tract houses in Palm Springs) and was bought by Teddy and Claire Morse in 1960. The following year, the Morses commissioned renowned Los Angeles architect Harold “Hal” Levitt to expand the home turning it into a Hollywood-style entertainment oasis in the Vista Las Palmas neighbourhood.
Its signature sunken living room, swim-up bar and swimming pool with island seating make it the ultimate party house. Natural rock walls and terrazzo flow seamlessly between indoors and out and the dynamism created by the disappearing glass walls and shifting angles is spectacular. We also love the white breeze block wall that screens a bedroom courtyard if we remember correctly.
The home is decorated with vintage furniture including an oval dining table by Eero Saarinen, chairs by Richard Schultz, Eames and Warren Platner and art by Alexander Girard.
It was bought by its current owners in 2013, Joan and Gary Gand, avid collectors of midcentury design and founders of the ‘Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond’ preservation group which provides tours, lectures and educational events about midcentury modern architecture and design. This husband and wife duo are also talented musicians and formed The Gand Band with a few others and are known for their ‘concerts with a cause’.