Detroit born Hugh Kaptur studied architectural engineering at the Lawrence Institute of Technology. During his service with the Marines in Southern California at Camp Pendleton, he met his first wife and designed a real estate office for their family, his first built project. In 1954, Kaptur returned with his family to Detroit, working in GM’s styling division.
During a trip to Palm Springs in 1956, Kaptur elected to stay and has remained ever since. In his early years in Palm Springs, he apprenticed in the firm of Wexler & Harrison. Kaptur’s first own Palm Springs project was the Impala Lodge, now the Triangle Inn, in 1957-58. Other projects followed soon including the William Burgess Residence, the Pete Seva Residence and the Robert Leaver Residence (now demolished) all perched above Palisades Road on a rocky ledge with sweeping panoramic views of the valley floor.