Albert Frey’s Cree House Lists for $1.85 Million Near Palm Springs

Also commonly known as “the Forgotten Frey,” the midcentury time capsule in California’s Coachella Valley recently underwent a careful renovation and restoration.

Designed by Swiss-born architect and former Le Corbusier student Albert Frey in 1955, the Cree House is often referred to as "the Forgotten Frey"—not because the midcentury dwelling is unmemorable, but because for years it was held by private owners and no one got to see it. 

Architect Albert Frey’s 1955 Cree House, also known as "the Forgotten Frey," appears to float above its desert site in California’s Coachella Valley.

Raymond Cree, a former school superintendent turned real estate developer, commissioned Frey to design the single-story structure on the border between Palm Springs and Cathedral City in California’s Coachella Valley. 

After a total renovation that meticulously restored all of the original building materials, including the exterior and interior wall panels, corrugated fiberglass deck pieces, kitchen appliances, cabinetry, and glass shower door, the Cree House—which only cost $40,000 to build—was finally revealed to the public during 2019’s Palm Springs Modernism Week. Now, the midcentury residence at 67389 East Palm Canyon Drive is available to purchase for $1,850,000.

The encelia-green, asbestos-cement sheet facade is a distinctive part of the home’s design.  

The contractor spent days restoring the yellow corrugated-fiberglass railings that wrap around the balcony.

Painted encelia green—the color of desert flowers—the 1,124-square-foot home sits on an 8.28-acre hillside with an impressive view of the San Jacinto Mountains. The Cree House is supported by thin steel columns that make the structure appear to float over the rocky terrain. It also features a 600-square-foot overhanging deck with distinctive yellow fiberglass siding.

The fireplace that anchors the main living space was built with native rock sourced from the site.

The living room connects to a spacious balcony that looks out over the desert landscape.

Large, full-height windows bring a sense of the surroundings inside the home. 

The dining area features smooth, wood-paneled walls.

The Cree House’s design bears similarities to the architect’s own residence, Frey House II. It also recalls details from Frey’s training under Le Corbusier and his work on the iconic Villa Savoye. Scroll to see more of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence, currently listed for $1,850,000.

The kitchen includes original appliances, including a copper-colored, three-door refrigerator/freezer that resembles hanging kitchen cabinets. It also features Formica countertops and a vintage oven with circular windows.

Strategically placed windows in the kitchen and living room offer spectacular desert views. 

The primary bedroom overlooks the desert landscape and features an adjacent bathroom. A second bedroom/den area with a closet also enjoys valley views.

The Cree House’s design bears similarities to the architect’s own residence, Frey House II. 

It also recalls details from Frey’s training under Le Corbusier and his work on the iconic Villa Savoye.

Sliding glass doors facilitate a seamless indoor/outdoor flow. The property includes ample space to add a pool or outdoor spa area to the west of the home.

The 1,124-square-foot Cree House is currently listed for $1,850,000.

67389 East Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City, California, is currently listed for $1,850,000 by Scott Lyle of Compass.

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