Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Neutra, Richard J., Architect (firm); Richard Josef Neutra (architect)

Dates: constructed 1936

1 story

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2311 North Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Originally 1911 North Indian Avenue. The numbers changed c. 1946.

Grace Darling Lewis Miller (1895-1976) was a practitioner of the Mensendieck System of spinal exercises. (This method was developed by the American physician, Bess M. Mensendieck, [b. 1861], who obtained her medical degree in Zurich and proceeded to set up back therapy studios across Europe.) One wall of the Miller House's living room was mirrored to enable her Mensendieck students to view their own postures. Her house had an open floor plan, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. All rooms were accessible to the outdoors. The house had no dining room, as Miller liked to eat outside.

The Grace Lewis Miller papers were donated by her two sons to the National Park Service's Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in Saint Louis, MO. Miller married a physician, Herman Benjamin Miller, M.D., in 1918; he passed away in 1935, and, thereafter, she changed her life rather dramatically. She commissioned radical Los Angeles architect Richard Neutra to design this small, one-story house at 1911 North Indian Avenue, where she spent a great deal of time; it was renumbered c. 1946 to 2311 North Indian. (At some point, "North Indian Avenue" was also renamed "North Indian Canyon Drive.") After her husband's death, she also began serious study in American history, earning a M.A. in the subject from Washington University in Saint Louis. Miller became engrossed in the life of the American explorer, Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), spending nearly 30 years in libraries and archives doing research, writing a Screen Actors Guild script for a 1939 documentary film and producing numerous scholarly articles on him. In the Grace Lewis Miller Papers," given to the National Park Service's Jefferson National Expansion Monument Archives, Sub-Series 3 Palm Springs (and Box 54, Folder 26), there are "notes, correspondence, surveys, designs, and newspaper clippings" pertaining to the building of her residence in Palm Springs by Neutra. (See "Jefferson National Expansion Memorial: Grace Lewis Miller Papers,"Accessed 02/03/2014.) After 1935, Miller lived in three locations, a residence at 55 Vandeventer Place in Saint Louis, the Palm Springs house by Neutra, and Texas. She returned to lived permanently in the Plaza Square Apartments in Saint Louis after 1960.

Palm Springs Historic Site (2002-07-17): 45

PCAD id: 3030