Settled within Palm Springs’ famed Movie Colony rests the Cary Grant Estate known as Las Palomas (1930), a stunning Spanish retreat on over an acre-and-a-half of lushly landscaped terrain, as rich in architectural pedigree as it is Hollywood history.
Completed in 1930 by John Byers, AIA, an early pioneer of Spanish Colonial revival in Southern California, the estate was built as an exact replica of a 19th-century Spanish Andalusian farmhouse. Its exclusive neighborhood became known at the Movie Colony due to its popularity as a desert hideaway among old Hollywood luminaries such as Cary Grant, who purchased the stately hacienda in 1954. Internationally adored as a Golden Age leading man for his work in such hits as The Philadelphia Story, None but the Lonely Heart, and Arsenic and Old Lace, it was love at first sight for the screen legend upon laying eyes on the property as he entered retirement. Grant commissioned Wallace Neff, AIA, a key player in defining the California architectural style, to build a guest wing known as The Alfred Hitchcock Casita, as the filmmaker was a regular houseguest. In fact, it was during one of his visits that Hitchcock coaxed Grant out of retirement, going on to star in career-defining, box-office smashes To Catch a Thief, An Affair to Remember, and North by Northwest. During his ownership, Las Palomas served as a haven for fellow industry superstars like Howard Hughes, Sophia Loren, Katharine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, and Clark Gable to name a few, seeking refuge from the limelight.
Walled and gated, a large drive and motor court lined by abounding greenery and palms lead to the secluded Las Palomas, whose impeccably maintained exterior of white stucco displays the original shutters painted in a fresh coat of cobalt blue. Inside, the two-story estate features vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams and series of French doors to the surrounding gardens throughout the open plan. Although extensively restored, special care was taken to preserve many of its original elements such as terracotta floor tiles, wood-burning fireplaces, colorful art deco bathroom tiles, and custom cabinetry. Common areas include a spacious living room with double-height ceilings, dining and family rooms, a kitchen, and a great room with soaring 40-foot ceilings. Living quarters upstairs and in the guest wings feature six bedrooms, including a large master suite with a fireplace and access to balconies overlooking the grounds.
The idyllic and beautifully manicured outdoors feature sweeping lawns, majestic 80-year-old eucalyptus trees, palms, agave, meandering bougainvillea, and an array of citrus, date, fig, Japanese plum, and pomegranate trees that bloom year round. A stone terrace offers space for sunbathing and entertaining beside a large pool and spa.