Donald A. Wexler, FAIA (1926-2015)
Palm Springs Preservation Foundation
Architect and Palm Springs Preservation Foundation Honorary Board Member Donald A. Wexler, FAIA passed away peacefully at his home in Palm Desert last Friday, June 26, 2015. A 1950 graduate of the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture, Don worked briefly for famed modernist architect Richard Neutra before coming to Palm Springs in 1952 to work with architect William F. Cody on the Tamarisk Country Club.
After a productive partnership with architect Richard Harrison, in 1961 Don started his own firm and went on to build some of Palm Springs’ most beloved civic buildings and residences (including the Palm Springs International Airport and the Steel Development Houses). Much of Don’s work was showcased during PSPF’s popular Wexler Weekend in January of 2010 which saw the release of a tribute journal, Donald Wexler: Architect, chronicling his impressive career.
Later, in January of 2011, the Palm Springs Art Museum released Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler in conjunction with an exhibition of Don’s work. Don was active in preservation issues involving the Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan, Oasis Commercial Building, Royal Hawaiian Estates and the Steel Development Houses. In recognition of his preservation advocacy, Don became an honorary board member of the foundation in May of 2010.