A spacious and artistic high desert retreat formerly owned by Public TV celebrity Huell Howser, The Wheelhouse is a 2,221 square foot ranch-style house set on 80 acres near the main entrance of Joshua Tree National Park . It offers unobstructed mountain views and wonderful solitude yet it’s less than an hour from the glamour of Palm Springs. The 3-bedroom, 2½ bath home is a prime example of mid-century California indoor/outdoor living with a huge, private pool/spa patio and a large, covered outdoor dining room/recreational area.
The Wheelhouse was built in 1953 on the west end of Twentynine Palms, very close to neighboring Joshua Tree. Huell Howser bought the property in the ‘90s and surrounded it with a large-scale, modern sculptural steel fence designed and installed by the award-winning Belzberg Architects group of Santa Monica, CA. As an avid collector of found materials, he re-purposed unique objects such as vintage millstones into yard sculptures and industrial elements into lighting fixtures as well as a bathroom sink. In the early 2000s, he added a sunroom extension to the house with a separate living room and dining area. After Howser’s passing, the house was purchased by artist Joan Robey whose work is uniquely synergistic with Howser’s aesthetic. Her own sculptures integrate beautifully into the setting. She has revitalized the house, upgrading the comfort level of the property while offering an eclectic mix of furnishings of mid-century-meets-funky; a perfect fit with the spirit of Howser’s vision of an art-filled desert oasis.
The Wheelhouse is now available for you to rent for photo shoots, weddings, special events, corporate gatherings, writer and artist retreats and extended family holidays. It is an ideal home base for park explorers and hikers, and a perfect yoga retreat location. Whether you want to spend a month or more by yourself working on a novel, finishing a screenplay or simply unwinding from the breakneck pace of city life, The Wheelhouse is both luxurious and rustic. It’s a unique and restorative place to experience alone or with family, friends or colleagues.
Photography by Jill Paider