Former Palm Springs home of Trini Lopez going up for auction


The late Trini Lopez’ Palm Springs home “Casa Lopez.” (Photo: Austyn Moreno Media)

Casa Lopez, the Palm Springs home of late musician Trini Lopez, is headed to auction April 13. 

The four-bedroom, five-bath, mid-century modern home at 1139 Abrigo Road in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood was designed by architect William Krisel and built by Alexander Construction in 1961.

It includes the original pool and spa, two en suite bedrooms with exterior access, and the casita that Lopez used as a study and music room.

Some of the other noted features are exposed beam ceilings, mirrored walls, patterned masonry and a single-story floor plan that blends indoor and outdoor space.

Nate Schar, director of Luxury Real Estate for Heritage Auctions, said the auction house has not done any appraisals on the property, but homes in the neighborhood are priced around $1.5 million to $2 million. 

Bidding for Casa Lopez will take place online and those who wish to put in a bid are required to register through Heritage Auctions prior to the sale at

Chris Menrad, a real estate agent at Compass and board member of Palm Springs Modern Committee, estimates there are only three homes in the area designed by Krisel and built by Alexander with a barrel-vaulted entryway.

Menrad said the home also includes its original kitchen and four bathrooms. 

“I don’t think he did a lot of stuff other than just maintain it,” Menrad said. 

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Lopez purchased the home in 1968 and resided there until his death in August at age 83 due to complications related to COVID-19. Some of his neighbors over the years were Dean Martin, Kirk Douglas and Debbie Reynolds. The estate is also close to the Elvis and Priscilla Presley Honeymoon Hideaway. 

Asked whether the celebrity history or architecture drives home sales in Vista Las Palmas, Menrad said he believes it’s the “homogeneous neighborhood.”

“It just has the look of a classic mid-century Palm Springs neighborhood,” Menrad said. “Location is always the big thing in real estate, but all those elements certainly make it desirable.” 

The late Trini Lopez’ Palm Springs home “Casa Lopez.” (Photo: Austyn Moreno Media)

The Palm Springs Modern Committee credits Krisel as one of the few mid-century modern architects to participate in the resurgence of modernism in Palm Springs.

Krisel, who died in 2017 at age 92, also designed the Ocotillo Lodge and the Racquet Club Estates in Palm Springs, as well as the Sandpiper condominiums in Palm Desert.

“William Krisel, Architect,” a film on his life, premiered at Modernism Week in 2010.

Palm Springs filmmakers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes released a documentary about Lopez called “My Name Is Lopez” last week at Mary Pickford is D’Place in Cathedral City. The film features archival and new footage of the guitarist and singer. 

The Mexican-American musician was perhaps best known for his 1963 cover of “If I Had A Hammer” (“The Hammer Song”), originally written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. He was discovered in 1962 by Don Costa, one of Frank Sinatra’s arrangers, during a performance at P.J.’s Nightclub in Hollywood. He signed to Sinatra’s label, Reprise Records. 

Lopez also appeared in films such as “Marriage on the Rocks” in 1965 with Sinatra and Deborah Kerr, and “The Dirty Dozen” in 1967 with Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown and Donald Sutherland. 

Lopez received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 1993 — his plaque at 101 N. Palm Canyon Drive now sits in front of the Starbucks Reserve.  

Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye. Support local news, subscribe to The Desert Sun.

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Wednesday November 2, 2022