Tucked behind stone walls and gates, the Kirk Douglas Estate centers on a low-slung main house originally designed by modernist architects Wexler & Harrison and built by master builder Bob Higgins in 1954. Though initially owned by Robert Howard and his screen actress wife, Andrea Leeds, the property was later home to actor Kirk Douglas and his family for 40 years. Although several modifications occurred during the ownership of the Douglas family, it maintains the vocabulary and overall design intent of Wexler & Harrison.
On January 9, 2020 the Palm Springs city council voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the Class 1 Historic Resource designation of Kirk Douglas Estate. PSPF board advisor Susan Secoy Jensen (the author of the nomination) made public comment in support of the designation.
On September 10, 2019 the city’s Historic Site Preservation Board voted unanimously (7-0) to recommend to city council approval of the Class 1 Historic Resource designation of the Kirk Douglas Estate.
On March 14, 2019 the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (acting as agent for the owners) submitted the 55-page Class 1 Historic Site nomination for the Kirk Douglas Estate to the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board.
In July of 2017, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board of directors assigned the task of writing the Class 1 Historic Site nomination of the Kirk Douglas Estate to board advisor Susan Secoy Jensen.