Horrified at the prospect of having to build a Georgian-style mansion in the middle of the desert, Williams nevertheless drew the plans, but he drew a second set of plans for a modern home. Fortunately, Sinatra loved the modern design, and construction began around the clock in an effort to meet Sinatra's deadline. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,500-square-foot fully air-conditioned estate was completed in time for the Sinatras to host a New Year's party.
Sinatra immediately dubbed the estate Twin Palms for the poolside twin palm trees, the tallest in the valley at that time. The residence, with its piano-shaped pool, was the site of some of the most glamorous parties of the era, hosting Hollywood's brightest stars.
Sinatra and his first wife divorced soon after the home was built, and his mistress and future wife Ava Gardner moved in. Of her time in the house, Gardner said, “It was the site of probably the most spectacular fight of our young married life, and, honey, don’t think I don’t know that’s really saying something...Frank’s establishment in Palm Springs, the only house we really could ever call our own, has seen some pretty amazing occurrences.”
Indeed, one of the sinks in the master bathroom bears a crack from a champagne bottle that Sinatra threw at Gardner during one of their legendary brawls. Sinatra also reportedly once threw all of Ava’s belongings into the driveway of the home after an argument over his infidelities with Lana Turner.
In 1957, after filing for divorce from Ava, Frank sold the property and moved to a new home in nearby Rancho Mirage. The estate is now available to rent for special occasions.
|Twin Palms (photograph by Julius Shulman)|
|Seating area in original master bedroom, overlooking the pool|
|Pool, with twin palms|
|The infamous cracked sink (though, honestly, I think it's hard to see the crack)|
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