The midcentury modern home of Huell Howser in the high desert of Twentynine Palms is on the market for $395,000.
Howser was a TV personality best known as the folksy host of popular public TV shows including “California Gold,” “Visiting” and “Road Trip.” Howser died of prostate cancer on Jan. 7, 2013 in his Palm Springs home. He was 67.
In 1997, Howser bought the home at 5960 Sunrise Road in Twentynine Palms. Shortly after, he began renovations on the desert retreat.
The 2,221-square-foot house built in 1953 features minimalist, midcentury architecture with industrial designs. The two-bedroom house on five lots totaling 11.9 acres includes concrete kitchen counter-tops, stainless steel baseboards and a concrete hearth for the massive brick fireplace in the living room. The garage was transformed into an entertainment room with glass paneled walls.
Howser enjoyed collecting eclectic oddities, including old street lights, copper disks and several massive antique mill stones placed in the outdoor area. An inverted streetlight fixture was even converted into the master bath wash basin. A fence created from sheets of rusted, copper-colored iron set at 10-degree angles surrounds the home.
Outside, the patio area includes a pool with a shallow ledge, a spa and gas fire pit.
Also for sale is an adjacent 70.82-acre vacant parcel, listed for $354,000. Howser had bought it from Jackie Autry, widow of former California Angels owner Gene Autry, for the panoramic views of the desert from his house.
An open house on Sunday drew more than 130 visitors, said real estate agent Jeff Wysard. The trustee for the estate is expected to begin evaluating offers today.
Chapman University is the beneficiary of Howser’s estate. Proceeds from the sales of the house and adjacent lot will benefit the California’s Gold Endowed Scholarship and the California’s Gold Collection Endowment, Howser’s archives at the college. Currently five students are recipients of the scholarship.
The listing agent is Jeff Wysard of Desert Luxury Homes, (760) 880-5335.
Business and real estate reporter Dominique Fong can be reached at (760) 778-4661, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @dominiquefong.