He quickly received a reputation for challenging projects and taking on all comers. He built spectacular dream homes on what were considered unbuildable lots. One example of such a project is the Gesner design Hollywood Hills Boathouses on Woodrow Wilson and Pacific View Drive.
Gesner designed a home for playboy swimwear tycoon Fred Cole that had bamboo bead curtains that clattered when one of Cole’s countless model girlfriends passed in and out.
He built a home in 1966 for the inventor J.R. Scantlin with a lap pool that had an underwater entrance to the master bathroom—a feature architect Richard Meier, a later tenant, sealed up when a transient plunged through the opening, attired himself in Meier’s clothing, and was found smoking a cigar in the living room.
Gesner designed a little over one hundred homes- a number that is relatively low (compare with Frank Lloyd Wright who designed over 400). This is because Gesner was very hands on during construction.
Sandcastle, Gesner’s primary residence, situated next store to wave house, was made with reclaimed wood. Gesner built Sandcastle for his wife. “I wanted to design something that [she] and my son would be happy in, that we would all be happy in, and a circular house has a great feeling of peace and livability.”