It does seem like a good place to write risque novels.
An alluring Palm Springs estate formerly owned by the prolific suspense and romance writer Sidney Sheldon has come on the market for $8.3 million.
“The fact that Sidney Sheldon and family found inspiration and thrived here adds to the appeal of this magnificent and unique market offering,” Patrick Jordan, the agent who has the listing, in a release.
The property is located in Palm Springs’ Old Las Palmas neighborhood, within view of the San Jacinto mountains, and features a 5,800 square-foot main house and a 2,000 square-foot guest house. The two houses are both one-story and have separate addresses, 480 West Via Lola and 505 Camino Del Sur.
The Mediterranean-style estate, named Running Water, was built in 1948 but has more recently been remodeled. In a very Palm Springs touch, it also features two different pools: one for socializing and one for lap swimming. The four-bedroom larger house also has four fireplaces, 11-foot ceilings and a screening room. The one-bedroom smaller house includes a studio with its own entrance.
The current owners, according to records, are Alan Taylor and Hans Reiser, who in 2014 bought 480 West Via Lola for $1.9 million and 505 Camino Del Sur for $875,000.
But Running Water actually constitutes only part of what had been Sheldon’s expansive Palm Springs compound — a home base that ranked among the largest even in celebrity-stuffed Palm Springs.
The writer’s main house was across the street, at 425 West Via Lola. An earlier listing said that the Mid-Century Modern house went up in 1959 and was purchased by Sheldon in 1977. It’s over 7,000 square feet and has five bedrooms. It also has a pool, this one in a kind of pond-shape, with plenty of surrounding landscaping.
The property also has a two-bedroom casita — the location from where Sheldon reportedly wrote his many best sellers. (Records show it’s currently owned by Milo Pinkerton and his husband Taus Virgil; Pinkerton is a Minnesota and Wisconsin-based developer.)
But wait, there’s more!
Sheldon also owned another property, adjacent to the main home, that was dubbed The Playhouse. That 3,800-square-foot home, located at 467 West Via Lola, had — or maybe still has, depending on its new owners’ tastes — a putting green, as well as an indoor pool enclosed by custom-designed glass.
This property, used by Sheldon as a guest house, was built in 1948, according to an earlier listing, and was once owned by Winthrop Rockefeller, scion of Manhattan-based financial and real estate mogul John D. Rockefeller and a one-time governor of Arkansas in his own right. Sheldon bought it in 1992 for $775,000; it’s now owned by an entity tied to the Las Vegas area, which bought it for $2.6 million in 2013.
Sheldon died in 2007 after a long, varied and successful career. He won a Tony Award for a Broadway musical and had major hits on television, including “I Dream of Jeannie,” which he created, wrote and produced; in mid-life, he also began writing somewhat low-brow but hugely popular novels at a fiendish pace, and went on to become at one point the most widely translated author in the world. But while Shelton’s novels were often characterized by dashing adventurism and sex — one New York Times Book Review piece described “a pastoral coed nude rubdown with dry leaves” — by his own telling the writer’s life, even in his magnificent Palm Springs compound, was more pedestrian.
“About my sex life,” he once remarked, as quoted by his New York Times obituary. “It’s one page long.”