Category Archives: Mid-Century Modern

Masters of Post Modern Architecture – Palm Springs

Masters-of-Post-Modern-Architecture-–-Palm-Springs-300x196Recently, the Palm Springs Museum has obtained the former Santa Fe Federal Saving and Loan building and it firstly expressed its intention to transform the location into a new type of museum. This was going to be centered on architecture and art. The idea received unexpected support from both the public and the media at a national level.

At the moment, it is raising funds in order to rehabilitate the historic building. After it will be renewed it is going to be transformed into a state of the art architectural museum. This would be the first museum of this kind in the country and it intends to amaze the public with the pieces exhibited. Imaginative, unique pieces will be presented and they are hoped to serve as source of inspiration for many future architects. Until now, no less than 30 famous entrepreneurs and famous leaders have shown their support for the project. The museum needs one hundred founding members that must commit to pay a certain sum for the next three years to keep the institution running, until it begins to produce its own profit.

Furthermore, the modern architect E. Stewart Williams will be in charge with the esthetic rehabilitation of the structure and also he will gather the pieces and the collections that will be exhibited. Also, the name of a great pavilion inside it, the Edward Harris pavilion comes from a great architectural historian, Beth Edwards Harris, who with her husband, Brent are thought to have been responsible for the revival of the Mid-Century Modernism, an important step in architecture. Their most important vision was to create community and commercial space. This way the local organizations were going to be supported and therefore, now the first level of the museum will be transformed into a public library with special cabinets for the architectural blueprints.

In addition, the plans of the museums involve the existence of an elevator, as well as walls made entirely of aluminum, glass panels, and decorations based on original blueprints. All must be as creative and as unique as possible, and visitors must not be disappointed by what will see. Also, the dividers from the former offices have already been removed and a larger open space has been created. This way, the original Terrazzo floor can now be completely admired and the overall look is much more impressive.

Moreover, the plan includes various decorations with black and white photos made by the famous photographer, Julius Shulman. These will be the perfect additions to the place and they will blend perfectly with the general style. The overall area will have different looks, to present as many unique ideas as possible, but in some way they are all going to match and come into a harmonious flow that will surprise and enchant the visitors. The architecture and design of the museum will surely be well received on the market and it will represent a fabulous source of inspiration for many architects. With its history and esthetic beauty it will be a pleasure to visit it.

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Rat Pack Reflected Palm Spring’s Devil May Care Attitude

Rat Pack makes Palm Springs their home

In the late 50’s and early 60’s, a group of entertainers and the spots they hung out in came to symbolize the American style of mixing power and pleasure. A group gathered around Frank Sinatra, did movies together in Hollywood, performed on stage with one another in Las Vegas, and relaxed and partied in Palm Springs. They started out staying at the Riviera Resort that they helped christen with gigs in the Chi Chi Room, but many of them such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford emulated their leader, Sinatra, and bought homes of their own in Palm Springs.

Their camaraderie helped to give them enormous power in the entertainment industry and helped to make Palm Springs a power center of world class renown. Unlike other tony enclaves of the era, Palm Springs was not the least bit restrictive and proved to be open to all. The same could be said of the Rat Pack. They included a members from a wide array of backgrounds. This was at a time when even the two Italians in the group would have had a hard time qualifying for membership at certain country clubs. Not so on the links at Palm Springs.

The men in the Rat Pack had swagger and were often seen as vulgar, but it was seen as a sign of their confidence and disdain of convention. They were not about to be assigned to any second class status imposed by the old guard of American culture. They fashioned their own brand of hip and obviously had a good time doing it.

The openness of the desert suited their style. In Palm Springs, it was possible to party at poolside all through the night and sleep through the heat of the day. Since they had so many friends in town, there were always people to see and places to go.

Bogie’s Wife Gives the Name

In 49, Sinatra moved to a home in Holmby Hills near the house where Humphrey Bogart. The two men became drinking buddies along with several other future members of the Rat Pack. When Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, saw the boisterous crew storming through a Las Vegas casino, she stated, “You look like a @#$% rat pack.” Sinatra seems to have taken the slur as an endearment.

Sinatra enjoyed having a circle of buddies around. The arrangement also had enormous commercial success. Their popularity in Las Vegas was unparalleled. They generated enormous amounts of press coverage just by hanging out at pools in Palm Springs and posing for photos with bikini clad babes.

At first, the press referred to them as the Clan. Sinatra did not like it and snidely remarked, “Just because we get together once a week wearing sheets over our heads is no reason to call us that.” To which, Sammy Davis Jr. added, “Would I belong to an organization called the clan?” This sort of humor was new to America. The Rat Pack managed to demonstrate how ethnic and racial differences could form a basis and not a barrier to friendship.


Palm Springs is such an interesting community! Interested with Palm Springs Real Estate? CLICK HERE to speak to Claudine.

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Palm Springs Caters to Frank Sinatra Fans


Feeling at Home in Frank’s Home

Palm Springs has put really put out the welcome mat for fans of Frank Sinatra. Not only can you stay in the main house of his Palm Springs compound, but the rates have recently been reduced by 25% because of the recession. Not that staying here has become cheap. It will still set you back $1950 a night, but that is still a far sight less than the $2,600 rate that prevailed in better times. While that might seem a steep price to pay, the home does have four bedrooms, a large living room with a pull down screen for movie viewing and a gorgeous pool. The home is set up for entertaining both inside and outside as party loving Sinatra was wont to do when he lived here.

Palm Springs is promoting a list of places that Sinatra liked to visit while in town. It is part of the city’s efforts to promote tourism in the desert resort. They recognize the value it adds for legions of his fans to learn that Sinatra was frequently a guest at certain bars and restaurants. While Sinatra did enjoy being the center of attention, he generally shunned publicity while staying in Palm Springs. Some of his encounters with newsmen and photographers became legendary as he tried to shun the press with a retinue of bodyguards who were less than gentle in keeping the paparazzi at bey.

Now it is possible to walk right over his grave or at least very close to it. For diehard Sinatra fans, no visit to Palm Springs would be complete without a stop at his final resting place in the local cemetery where fans often leave miniature bottles of Jack Daniels in tribute to their idol


His Spirit Still Captivates Visitors

At one of the city’s many parks, you can bush a button set by a bad of petunias and here “Old Blue Eyes” describe the scenery. Instead of breaking into song, he goes on to detail the mating habits of Bighorn Sheep. After that you might want to attend the church where Sinatra went to mass. Palm Springs has its own Walk of Fame copied after the one in Hollywood because so many celebrities choose to live in Palm Springs. Sinatra has a star located outside of a T-shirt shop.

The house however remains the ultimate attraction for Sinatra fans. It is filled with Rat Pack mementos and memories of the many dalliances Sinatra conducted here. He romanced both Ava Gardner and Lana Turner here. The sink in the bathroom off the master bedroom is cracked, but no repairman is ever likely to fix it. Ava Gardner broke it when she threw a champagne bottle at Frank after learning of his escapades with Lana Turner. No would want to destroy evidence like that.

Melvyn’s bar and restaurant is within walking distance of the home. It was one of Sinatra’s favorite watering holes when he was in town. A giant portrait of him greets patrons of the place.

Looking for a home or condo in Palm Springs? Claudine is available to help with all Palm Springs Real Estate concerns. Call CLAUDINE TODAY @ (760) 799 5308!

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2 Hour Rule and Rat Pack Made Palm Springs a Celebrity Haven

Palm Springs Became The Home for the Rat Pack

Hollywood’s original bad boys, the Rat Pack, added to Palm Springs luster in the post World War II era. The shenanigans of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford at the Chi Chi Club, Riviera Resort, and other watering holes out there in the desert helped to add to the city cache, but Palm Springs was already renowned as a celebrity destination back in the 20’s when future members of the Rat Pack were still little kids or infants.

Palm Springs had a lot going for it as a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of studio life that already dominated the Hollywood scene by the 20’s. The region already had hotels and golf course where people could relax throughout the year. Yes, the days were hot in summer, but that was just a good reason to hit the links early in the day and while away the afternoons at pool side.

The setting was spectacular perched beneath the towering San Jacinto Mountains, but what made it especially attractive for the Hollywood crowd was the so called “two hour rule” that applied to actors under contract. Because they might be quickly needed for a shoot under special circumstances, Hollywood players under contract were required to remain at all times within two hours travel time of the studios. Palm Springs just managed to make it under that limitation. While the highways out to the resort have been upgraded, the traffic has gotten worse. The two hour rule can still apply just not during the morning or evening rush.

A Home Away from Home for Several Rat Pack Members

Several Rat Pack members including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. so enjoyed their visits to Palm Springs that they ended up purchasing homes there. The Sinatra compound in particular became a favored meeting site for Rat Pack members. Numerous other Hollywood celebrities purchased homes here in the Rat Pack hey days of the 50’s and 60’s.

Bob Hope bought a house here and became such a beloved member of the community that they named a boulevard after him. His partner in all those “Road Movies,” Bing Crosby also had a house here and a street that bears his name. Other luminaries include George Hamilton, Kirk Douglas, and Jack Benny.

The celebrities are not all out of Hollywood or just confined to film and stage. Albert Einstein maintained a home here. The celebrated genius found the star studded skies inspirational and loved to lie out on an easy chair in his back patio and look up at the heavens. He claimed that some of his best thoughts came to him during such moments of relaxation.

Female celebrities are also included on the list of famous folks who choose to have a house in Palm Springs. These include such people as Marilyn Monroe, Lily Tomlin, Dinah Shore, and Elizabeth Taylor. Palm Springs also attracts famous couples such as Carol Lombard and Clark Gable, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and getting back to the Rat Pack, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra.

All these amazing stories awaits you in Palm Springs…Interested with Palm Springs Luxury Homes? Call Claudine @ (760) 799 5308 or Visit her Palm Springs Real Estate Site!

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Palm Springs, CA Market Report for the week of July 23, 2012

The median list price in PALM SPRINGS PROPER, CA 92264 this week is $711,000.

Inventory has been lightening lately and the Market Action Index has been trending up. Though days-on-market is increasing, these are mildly positive indications for the market.

Supply and Demand

Home sales have been exceeding new inventory for several weeks. While still a Buyer’s market, prices seem to have responded by moving upward. If the demand trends continue, expect prices to keep marching upward, especially once we see a Seller’s Market.


Price trends in this zip code continued their recent uptrend this week. While still below the market’s high point, we’ve seen a nice run recently.

For additional information regarding Palm Springs single family homes, CLICK HERE.  Interested with Palm Springs Real Estate & Its prestigious Golf golf communities? Search for Palm Springs Homes OR Just call Claudine @ (760) 799 5308  or Email  her @


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NEW LISTING! 72390 Ridgecrest Ln Palm Desert, CA 92260- $161,000

Great South Palm Desert location high up on Hwy 74 on a quiet cul de sac. This is the largest model at Sommerset with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an open floor plan. Handy for El Paseo shopping and restaurants. Perfect as a vacation home or for year-round living. Property is being sold subject to 24 CFR 206.125.

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For more information about this property and other Claudine Messika homes, click here to make an exclusive property consultation today,

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Here is the monthly update with our sales, median prices and inventory  for June 2012 covering the cities of: Palm Springs Proper; Rancho Mirage; Palm Desert; Indian Wells; La Quinta and the community of Sun City (Palm Desert

LESS Bank Owned inventory
and less inventory all together (just above 4 months worth). Properties are sold in average between 94% and 101% of the asking price.

If you are serious about Palm Springs and Real Estate in Palm Springs NOW is the TIME!

The average median price is UP and the numbers are showing the number of distressed properties shrinking (very specific to our second homes market and not necessarily true for the rest of California) . The numbers are more or less comparable to last month except for the inventory, which has significantly reduced. Still, our summer is bringing lots of “real buyers” into town despite the heat. Although there is less competition, there are still multiple offers on many of the properties.

Results for June 2012
Total homes sold : 584 month over month a 15% decrease but this is our summer!
Total homes in “pending” (under contract ready to close) : 513
Total homes in “back up offer”(mainly short sales waiting for bank’s approval) : 738 a 10% drop from last month
Median price for condos : $265,650 a slight increase year over year and month over month- because of our short inventory
Median price for single family : $ 393,750
Total Bank Owned (REO’s) sold in June 2012: 78 against 154 year over year because less REO inventory
Total Short Sales sold in June 2012: 87 some improvement on the banks side to close the shortsales
Total Bank Owned (REO’s) active in July 2012: 74 against 214 year over year. Less REO’s inventory
Total Short Sales active in July 2012:129, a 20% month over month decrease
Total Inventory for the cities we cover : 2227 another 20% decrease compared to May and 30% decrease year over year. The inventory for short sales + REOs is just about 9% of the total inventory.


Cities MedianPrice
condos sold
Sold   REOs Active   REOs
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Palm   Desert










Indian   Wells










La   Quinta










Sun   City







Alvin and myself will be in town all summer except for short day trips here and there. Call us to schedule time to purchase your home. If you are serious about Palm Springs and Real Estate in Palm Springs NOW is the TIME!

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Palm Springs Modernism Week – Feb 14-24, 2013

Palm Springs Modernism Week


Palm Springs California, one of the most attractive destinations for celebrities during Hollywood’s Golden Age, now hosts Palm Springs Modernism Week. Palm Springs is home to the Horizon Hotel, which was a popular lodging choice for Frank Sinatra and the members of the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe. The hotel has recently been restored to give guests the feel of timeless luxury, with state-of-the-art materials that make amenities like the saline pools and Jacuzzis even more inviting.

A number of homes in the Palm Springs area still have touches of modern mid-century architecture, and some Palm Spring residents are even having their homes built or remodeled in this style as an ode to one of the classiest eras in architectural history. Those with an affinity for the construction associated with this period in history are encouraged to attend Modernism Week.

Modernism Week is an 11-day celebration of modern architecture in the mid-century, as well of the culture of Palm Springs. Mid-century modern design was originates in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and was characterized by aesthetically pleasing traits like simple, clean lines, which are also the mark of desert modernism.

Those who attend Modernism Week can take advantage of a variety of activities and events, including architectural tours through some of Palm Springs’ most impressive buildings. Guests can also attend architectural lectures and films; Modernism Week also features an architectural symposium and a number of other educational events. And of course, there are a number of chic, fun parties for attendees to enjoy—in mid-century modern homes.

Tickets for Modernism Week 2013 will be on sale in September. Modernism Week is made possible by a host of volunteers, media professionals and sponsors. The money that is raised for the event goes toward the Modernism Week Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is for Palm Springs high school students who want to pursue a college education in the design field. This year, the Modernism Week committee will offer four renewable scholarships, as well as a double-decker architectural bus tour for the students and faculty.  The staff for Modernism Week will also provide a four-year donation to go toward the developmental phase the of the Palm Springs Art Museum Edwards Harris Center, and will continue to lend its support to like-minded architectural and preservation committees.

For more information about Palm Springs or  Palm Springs Luxury Homes, click here for an exclusive property consultation with Claudine Messika.

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Summer Salsa Mambo Festival in Palm Springs – July 26, 2012

Are you ready to dance?! Then head to Palm Springs this summer for the Salsa Mambo Festival. Located at the beautiful Doral Princess Resort, the festival is scheduled to begin on July 26, 2012.

Just what is the Salsa Mambo Festival, you ask? It is a fun-filled four days of over 60 dance workshops taught by world famous artists! All aspects of Salsa, Mambo and Bachata are focused on, as well as Afro-Cuban, Afro-Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Argentine Tango, Tango Nuevo, Latin Motion and even Salsa Aerobics!

The weekend starts with an opening party on Thursday, July 26th and the madness doesn’t end until Monday afternoon. Workshops begin in the morning until early afternoon and are available in a variety of topics including Salsa Footwork, Couple’s Styling, Cool Salsa Moves, Social Cha-Cha-Cha, Tango Swing, Musicality and Ear Training, Urban Bachata and Fusion Tango.

Afternoons consist of pool and jacuzzi time at the resort’s beautiful outdoor oasis. The evenings are where the real fun begins, with dance parties being held until 4am. Friday is theme night with togas being the costume of choice. Saturday night is the Gala Dinner with exclusive dinner shows and exhibition dancing. This year’s theme for the Gala Dinner is Palladium Night! Bust out your best West Side Story outfit – colorful dresses, shark-skin suits, skinny slacks and ties. It’s a night to dress to impress!

Later that night ring in the “new year”. Grab your champagne glass, get ready for the countdown and dance the night away. Recover with Sunday nights’ Pajama Night – kick back and dance in your most comfortable (or sexy!) pajamas.

Some of the top dancers in the industry will be performing and teaching at the 2012 Salsa Mambo Festival including Miquel Aguirre, Violeta Anderson, Rolando Bonilla, Keith Givens, Cynthia Howell, Cristian Oviedo, Vince Torres, Latin Motion Dance Co, Salsa in Wonderland and Jazz fusion.

The best part about it all – all you Salseros out there will have the resort to yourselves! The Salsa Mambo Festival promoters have made sure that festival attendees are the only guests that weekend at the Doral Desert Princess Resort. This resort has everything you can hope for on a dancing vacation including 10 tennis courts, a 5,000 square foot pool area with Olympic size pools, 2 whirlpools, executive gym, racquet club, spa facility, fitness center, golf pro shop and clubhouse, 27 holes of PGA Championship gold, a tennis pro shop and more. All rooms include high speed internet access, hair dryer, refrigerator and HBO.

The Salsa Mambo Festival is sponsored by Dance Sport California. DSCA is a dynamic dance organization providing dancers resources for training and education in the Social Latin Dances. DSCA offers a variety of programs in their studio in Signal Hill, CA and multiple festivals in Palm Springs and Los Angeles, CA.

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Palm Springs, CA – the Summer fest

Starting from June, Palm Springs is will be hosting an engaging community event called VillageFest. The festivity will end in September and it will be organized on Thursdays from 7 p.m. till 10 p.m. VillageFest features various smells, sounds and sights, and is expected to offer a delightful experience. This festival is a must – see for tourists all around the world because they will get in touch with the local culture. Also, they are going to see some foreign traditions and artisans. VillageFest is annually visited by thousands of people. They come here to relax, to learn more about Palm Springs and buy souvenirs for their friends and family.

This year, there will be countless booths featuring personal and unique creations that are hand crafted by local artisans. These products can make the perfect gifts because they are original and beautifully crafted. VillageFest can also be a great opportunity to visit Palm Springs and its surroundings. Visitors can accommodate in one of the numerous hotels and inns, and they can indulge themselves in delicious local dishes prepared by the restaurants.

This event is designed for friends and families and its intention is to use splendid art to bring people together. The artists are going to create extraordinary crafts out of nothing and are going to amaze the audience. It is a festival for individuals of all ages who can safely and comfortably walk into a world of crafts, food and rich art. So, it’s not only the works of art that are tempting. The food is also extremely alluring for all visitors. Dishes vary in nationality and content, and can offer a great culinary experience.

Eco-friendly tourists will love the farmers’ market stalls, because they will find natural and delicious vegetables and fruits. Healthy food can be quite expensive, but at the VillageFest everything’s affordable. Thus, the event promotes a healthy and a friendly atmosphere, and every year it manages to wow its visitors. The crowd will gather around at 6 p.m. By 7 p.m. the Palm Canyon Drive will be full of vendors and spectators. The entertainment venues, shops, clubs and restaurants will also be open late. Tourists will have the chance to take full advantage of their visit to Palm Springs.

There will be more than 150 booths and countless purveyors, entertainers and artists that will promote a wide array of objects and products such as paintings, fresh fruits, sculptures, vegetables, handmade pottery, flowers, organic soap, jewelry, sweets and snacks. Sitting at one of the outdoor cafés and enjoying this crowded street of California can be the best thing you can do during his vacation in Palm Springs.

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