Theodore & Marguerite Sutter Residence

Theodore & Marguerite Sutter Residence 1207 South Calle de Maria, Palm Springs, CA 92264

The Sutter Residence, completed in 1960 in the Deepwell neighborhood, was a modest, “starkly simple” design by architect E. Stewart Williams.  For nearly fifty years, Theodore Sutter was associated with Baker Oil Tools, Inc., a pioneering oil drilling equipment company.  Per the clients’ wishes, the modernist design was intended as a weekend retreat that could be managed with no live-in staff.  Notably, architect Williams’ design was sensitive to the more lavish Koerner Residence he had designed next door a few years earlier in 1955.

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On December 8, 2020, the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board met to consider the Class 1 historic resource designation of the Theodore and Marguerite Sutter Residence. Although some HSPB members opined that the Sutter Residence had significantly more integrity than some previously designated Class 1 properties, staff recommended it be designated a Class 2 property. Ultimately, the HSPB made a unanimous (5-0) recommendation for a Class 2 designation with a provision that it be “bumped up” to Class 1 after certain glass elements of the structure were replaced (this action was later found administratively improper by the city’s attorney). PSPF board advisor Steve Vaught eloquently explained the architectural importance of the Sutter Residence and PSPF board members Tracy Conrad and Barbara Marshall made compelling public comment in support of the historic site designation.

On October 13, 2020, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (acting as agent for the owner) submitted the 57-page Class 1 Historic Resource nomination for the Theodore and Marguerite Sutter Residence to the city of Palm Springs.

On June 11, 2020, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board of directors assigned the task of writing the Class 1 Historic Resource nomination of the Theodore and Marguerite Sutter Residence nomination to PSPF board advisor Steve Vaught.

Photo by Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)
Photo by Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)