July 17, 2009

Lucy and Desi's Home Open for Events

An "Old Hollywood" celebrity home is opening its gates for events.

In April, The Lucy House, once owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, became the second establishment to receive an event-home permit from the city of Palm Springs.

The home, located at 1194 N. Via Miraleste, previously was open for short-term vacation rentals, intimate weddings and small events.

Now property owner Amber Willat and planning director Gina Leslie have plans to expand its use to private and community events.

"It's just one of those old celebrity homes that we're reviving and bringing in, and with that we're bringing back the old stories," Willat said.

The 3,000-square-foot home sits on 3/4

In the 1930s it sat across from the El Mirador Hotel and was frequented by celebrity guests, Leslie said.

The home is built in traditional hacienda style. None of the rooms shares a common hallway. Each room faces out toward the central swimming pool area instead.

In the past two years, Willat and her family have given the house a facelift. They replaced the tile, painted the interior and installed modern appliances.

"When we picked it (the house) up, it was recognized as one of the Lucy homes, but it was in a state that no one could really enjoy," Willat said.

Willat said they have also worked closely with Laura Whittier Fontana and Reno Fontana, the owners of the Elvis Presley estate, through the permit process.

In the future, they would like to connect the two homes with dual events and tours, Willat said.

"We have to give credit to the Fontanas because they worked for five years to pave the way for us," Willat said.

For information about renting actress Lucille Ball's former home for events, go to www.thelucyhouse.com.


  1. The Lucy House in Palm Springs is now a very special, very fun and unique vacation rental. It's full of history and charm.


    The house is "recognized" by many Palm Springs locals and businesses as one of the first homes of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, however their names are not on the title. They owned a lot of properties in Palm Springs and they lived in and or vacationed in many houses, The Lucy House is recognized as one of those houses.

    The Bureau of tourism lists it as one of their first homes in PS, but like I said, their names are not on the title of ownership.

    But come and stay and enjoy the spirit of the house!

  2. I was in Palm Springs in the summer of 1969 (great year that was). My uncle was a big fan of Lucy/Desi, Bob Hope and Dean Martin. So, in temps over 115, we cruised around PS to find their homes. If I remember right, the Lucy home there was in the middle of an old golf course. All of the homes we were hunting were on or near courses, but the Ball/Arnaz place was in the middle. That was a great year, spent the summer in SoCal with relatives prior to HS. Oh, we did see Bob Hope in town, by the post office. And, from what I recall, the Arnaz house was closed.

  3. I heard that Frank Bogert (late Mayor of PS) was a very good friend of Lucy's. He was quoted saying "Lucy really made me laugh, I can truly say that she was one of my best friends".
    He was asked about this house at one time and he did confirm that she spent time there.

  4. There is no indication that Ball ever owned or rented this house...looks like another way to market this house to a gullible buyer....very Palm Springs...

    1. I agree BEWARE of claims about Lucille Ball having lived or stayed there. Lucy and Desi did buy a home in Palm Springs by the 17th Fairway with a view of the mountains and desert but it wasn't until 1954. A 6 BR 4,400 sq foot estate built by Paul Williams