This year, Cree House opened its doors to the public for the first time, more than 60 years after it was first built in the rocky foothills of East Palm Canyon Drive. Back in 1947, the 12-acre plot was purchased by school superintendent turned property developer Raymond Cree, who had grand plans to build a luxury holiday resort named the Desert Hill Hotel.
He got in touch with Swiss-born architect Albert Frey and commissioned him for the design. Plans of the resort show nine modern bungalows facing out from the hill, and a restaurant where holidaymakers could enjoy a meal against the backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains. But for reasons that have never been revealed, the plan was later abandoned, and Cree asked Frey to design a simple family home in its place.