Restoration of the Historic ‘Wave House’

Restoration of the Historic ‘Wave House’

Max Rodriguez

The Miles C. Bates home also commonly known as the Wave House is a one of kind project a Los Angeles architecture firm is planning to a restore to its original 1950s glory.

Christian Stayner is the owner and architect who is overseeing the restoration project of the Wave House.

Stayner said, “We’re trying to bring it back as close as we can to 1955, acknowledging that this house had a lot of a rough history over the past several decades.”

The Miles C. Bates home was a gem waiting years to be rediscovered. The house was built by architect Walter S. White who patented the “wooden dowels with bi-concave intermediate elements” that allow for the “wave” roof of the house.

The City of Palm Desert purchased the house in 2008 through its Redevelopment Agency, at the time the staff was not aware of the significance of the home.

Through advocacy by local historians and city staff, the house was placed in the National Register of Historic Places. The home is also on the State of California Historic Designation as well as Palm Desert Historic Landmark.

When the city decided to put the house for sale, the staff knew it needed an owner who cared for the house and its history.

Stayner said, “We’re trying to bring it back as close as we can to 1955, acknowledging that this house had a lot of a rough history over the past several decades.”

The rooms annexed to the original structure were demolished in efforts to maintain its original blueprints.

Stayner said, “We’re not flippers, we don’t come in and turn around and sell something, we’re planning on holding it.”

But he said they do plan on sharing the home. What started as an idea of a family vacation home has become a project the family would like to share with the community, an idea still in the talks with city officials.

Stayner said, “We’re hoping that there might be a way where people can also come and visit it so it’s not just a private work of art.”

The owners do not have a finish date for the project as issues that arise are unique to the home and its structure. Stayner said they would like to collaborate in future projects with organizations like Modernism Week and Desert X and share their family’s project with the Coachella Valley.