Palm Springs Preservation Foundation

J. Cheney Wells Residence - 1850 Smoke Tree Lane

Cheney WellsCourtesy Steve Vaught

The J. Cheney Wells Residence was designed by Albert Frey and built by well-known desert contractors Wilson & Sorum. Completed in 1942, the residence is an important example of a custom traditional ranch structure as interpreted by a modernist master (traditional "ranch" style architecture was a pre-existing design condition imposed by the covenants of Smoke Tree Ranch). J. Cheney Wells and brothers Channing and Albert were the heads of the American Optical Company, the largest optical manufacturing enterprise of its kind in the world. Cheney and Albert were also the founders and developers of Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, the biggest living history museum in New England.

On September 19, 2019 the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (acting as agent for the owner) submitted the 75-page Class 1 Historic Resource nomination for the J. Cheney Wells Residence to the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board.

Click hereIn January of 2019, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board of directors assigned the task of writing the Class 1 Historic Resource nomination of the J. Cheney Wells Residence to Steve Vaught.

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