Category Archives: Mid-Century Modern

Modernism Palm Springs




Donald Wexler died June 26, 2015 at the age of 89.Just as famous as his colleagues : Albert Frey, Francis Cody, E. Steward Williams, John Porter Clark just to name a few, all talented architects committed to modern architecture and in Palm Springs they just had the terrain to perform their art.
Wexler moved to Palm Springs in 1951 from Minnesota after a trip to Los Angeles where he met with his modern architecture mentor Richard Neutra who offered him a job at first in L.A. Palm Springs was the right place to built as a growing newer city . This also included civil buildings, gas stations, hotels and more
Wexler was focused on what he admired in Neutra : the materials and the design complementing the indoor-outdoor living
The big break thru was when Wexler and Alexander met and started building pre-fabricated , all steel mass produced homes on concrete pads . Wexler won the commission for the Palm Springs International  Airport building and this over more established  firms from L.A.
Wexler work was primarily in Palm Springs until he retired in 2004.

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

MW Bus Tour - Photo by David A_ Lee-smModernism Week has become such a large event in Palm Springs during season (traditionally in February) that we now have the “Modernism Week Fall Preview”. This is just to show us how big the “mid-century trend” has become and Palm Springs is considered a world wide destination for mid-century modern architecture lovers.
The Fall Preview is  happening October 9th thru 12th and tickets for tours will be selling from August 1st


Unique Homes opened during Modernism Week in Palm Springs

FreyHouseThe Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion had its Grand opening in 2014, but this year it will have a second “grand Opening” February 12th 2015.

Here is a picture of the interior of the Frey House which is not traditionally opened to the public but during the special “modernism week” tours are organized.

Palm Springs is expecting up to 45000 visitors for the Modernism Week this year. It is becoming the most important in our city. The center offers conferences, lectures , tours and how not a party! This is post #5 for the series covering the Modernism Week in Palm Springs – for more homes click here

This is what Palm Springs is about, and it is a perfect timing during our season with the adequate weather.

The Kaufman House in Palm Springs

KaufmannHouse Richard NeutraA star on the walk of fame in Palm Springs is the least we should have done for Richard Neutra , born in Vienna in emigrated in the USA in 1923 and headed west to work under his idol Frank Llyod Wright in Los Angeles. His friend Edward J.Kaufman commissioned him to build a home for him in Palm Springs and Richard accepted. Today “The Kaufman House” is an Iconic Mid-Century Home in Palm Springs. For more mid-century homes available for sale click here

Condos also part of the Mid-Century homes in Palm Springs

Sandcliff sandcliff posterDid you know that the delicious and so genuine mid-century condos complex in Palm Springs :  the historic Sandcliff community was first on the market in 1964 and as well advertise in Palm Springs Life magazine . It is on the tour of the Modernism Week . It is one of the few that did not see any modification to its outside architecture and grounds. Worth taking the time , breath taking views of the mountains. For more mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs and the Desert Cities : click here


Hotels too are part of the Palm Springs Modernism Tour

Movie Colony Hotelour post #5 in our series for the Modernism week in Palm Springs and still so much more!  Yes Palm Springs has quite a number of  “modernist” hotels – the ten tops built by architects such as William Cody for the Del Marcos, The Ace Hotel known for its “pool parties”, The Desert Star designed by Howard Lapham , The Movie Colony Hotel designed by Albert Frey , The Desert Riviera designed by Herbert Burns. I mean the list goes on and on.
Do you want to see mid-century homes? 

Del MarcosA good number of these hotels got attention and have been refurbished only lately (in the last 7 or 8 years) coming with new trend for mid-century homes that gave a new life to Palm Springs.

But if it is residential you are interested in then click here 


Palm Springs mid-century homes festival

Typical Alexander home

10th Annual ! I remember the first in 2006, as a Realtor we were selling those “old homes” that need much attention for very affordable prices! The “week” was a Four Days Festival , but it grew and grew and look at us today: 10 days for this “Modernism Week”. This is an additional attraction for Palm Springs and visitors are coming from all over to learn and enjoy this architecture.
How about seeing ALL the mid-century homes available today on the market? just click here !

45000 are expected this year which makes it an increase of 10% compared to 2013!  If you lived  in Palm Springs for the past 15/20 years then you know how conservative the planning commission and the building dept at the City is. Yes it is frustrating when you are in the middle of it and you want to change the elevation during a remodel or change the roof, but this is why Palm Springs is so unique and has become what it is today : the international destination for artistic and architectural design.
More than that , we are being told that the economic impact of “Modernism Week” last year was 17 Millions $. Now that is an accomplishment!

Mid Century Modern Architecture for Commercial buildings

SantaFe_Savings-d3b0c8c7Iconic buildings in Palm Springs, how lucky we are! not only private homes but the commercial buildings such as banks, institutions are still alive and “used”. This certainly explains why Palm Springs Real Estate is the highest in the Valley and still showing the largest increases for homes compared to the other Desert Cities. The majority of the Mid-century homes are located within Palm Springs Proper and they are getting more and more difficult to find with original owners selling or in original condition. Buying Real Estate in Palm Springs today secures no doubt about it, a significant increase in the very near future.
For residential homes mid-century modern click here  

Celebrities Homes in Palm Springs

8elvisThis is the “honey moon” house Elvis and Priscilla Presley came to – in Palm Springs you can see more of the celebrities homes

Yes it is “Palm Springs Modernism Week” but this year Palm Desert , Rancho Mirage and La Quinta are also included in the tours. A big open house Event February 14 and 15 from 10AM to 4PM will take place in the valley to showcase the mid century homes for sale at this time.
Ten of thousands of people in town will be literally driven to each open house by bus. What an opportunity for us Realtors !