Donald A. Wexler FAIA was born in South Dakota in 1926. He remains one of the most influential and famous architects to leave
his mark on modern and midcentury architecture in the Palm Springs area. He is known for pioneering the use of steel in
residential design. After working for a year in William Cody’s office, Wexler joined Richard Harrison to form their practice.
Wexler and Harrison became widely recognized for their Steel Development Houses. Wexler’s practice began with the design of
prefabricated houses and portable classrooms constructed of light gauge steel. The extremes of the desert climate forced Wexler
to develop a sustainable architecture, which was not only successful functionally, but achieved a timeless aesthetic appeal.
He pioneered commercial and residential construction using steel and prefabrication. He applied his groundbreaking techniques
and unique style to projects for clients such as Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, the Alexander Construction Company, and Walt
Disney World Resort. During his career, he designed numerous houses and condominium complexes, as well as banks, office parks,
and schools. The Palm Springs Municipal Airport commission, designed in 1963-1964, when he was in solo practice, was a major
milestone in his career. He practiced architecture in Palm Springs during what he calls the “golden years” of California architecture.
Wexler passed away in Palm Springs in 2015.
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