It’s the ultimate open house: for the first time ever, the legendary Sunnylands estate in Palm Springs – built by architect A. Quincy Jones for Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg – is open to the public. A landmark private residence constructed in 1966, it is not only a spectacular example of mid-century modernism but is also something of a historical landmark, having played host to royalty, Presidents and a roll call of celebrities. And true to the late Annenberg’s wishes it will continue to do so as The Annenberg Foundation Trust transforms the estate into a destination to “forever be used to advance world peace and facilitate international agreement by continuing their tradition of convening powerful global figures for private retreats to discuss ways in which problems could be resolved.”

Walter and Leonore Annenberg made their fortune as the founders of the Triangle Publishing Company, which created Seventeen Magazine and TV Guide. They spent five months a year at Sunnylands – where they would invite the great and the good to glittering dinners, gardens parties and legendary New Year’s Eve events – until Walter Annenberg passed away in 2002. It was at this time that 53 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works of art from house were gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Leonore Anneberg continued to live at Sunnylands until her death in 2009, when The Annenberg Foundation Trust began to implement the couple’s specific directions for the house to host small, high-level retreats for the President of the United State and the Secretary of State to bring together world leaders.

After a meticulous restoration, Sunnylands is now more glorious than ever. A. Quincy Jones’ crisp lines and soaring ceiling heights are warmed by the original interiors by William Haines and Ted Graber. Highlights of the Annenbergs’ art collection remain, including works by Giacometti, Picasso, Rodin, Arp and Bertoia, as well as a many pieces of Chinese antiquities. Maintaining the feel of a private home are albums worth of framed photographs of the Annenbergs with their powerful friends – from Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan to Barbara Walters and Frank Sinatra.

Newly added to the 200-acre Sunnylands compound is the visitor center, which was designed by architect Michael S. Smith who, appropriately, updated the Oval Office for President Obama.

It is not just serene architecture that makes Sunnylands conductive to encouraging political accord. When the pressure gets too much for visiting dignitaries, there is a private golf course designed by legendary Dick Wilson, where peace deals can be brokered on the putting green. And completing the “West Coast Camp David” (as it sometimes referred to) are 9 acres of spectacular gardens that were originally laid out with plantings by Emmet Wemple and Rolla Wilhite. Newly overhauled by landscape architect James Burnett, the gardens now take inspiration form the Annenbergs’ art collection. Vincent Van Gogh’s brushstrokes specifically influenced their design. “Mrs. Annenberg inspired us to push the limits in the design of these garden,” says Brunett. “She loved beauty….in art, architecture, fashion, and especially in the gardens.”