Celebrate Palm Springs Modernism With This Virtual Tour
Palm Springs Moderism Week runs April 9-12 and 15-18. The nonprofit run events and home tours celebrate mid-century architecture and design in the greater Palm Springs area. Palm Springs is recognized as one of the centers for classic mid-century modern architecture. These buildings were characterized by clean lines and low profiles. They originate from the mid-1900s, built from the 1930s to the 1970s. The Palm Springs' school of modernism celebrates the city's desert surroundings. Built from stone and concrete in part because wood was not abundantly available in the area, the material also helped to naturally cool the buildings.
Many of Palm Springs' mid-century modern homes have exterior walls or fencing in front of the home that provide an added layer of privacy, block sunlight, and provide visual interest.
Palm Springs Moderism Week began Friday, but there are still lots of activities and tours both this week and next. Here's the schedule of events. Tickets can be purchased here for in-person tours and events. Streaming programs become available 4/15. Enjoy this virtual tour below.
A landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former Tramway Gas Station was designed by Albert Frey (considered the founder of the Palm Springs Modern movement) and Robson Chambers is now the Palm Springs Visitor Center. Built in 1965 its wing-shaped roof rises on either side to form a pair of cantalever verandas that provide shade from the desert sun.
Exterior, street-facing landscaping of Palm Springs mid-century modern homes often feature low-water desert plants, while shaded courtyards feature palms and lusher vegetation.
The Kaufmann Desert House was designed by Richard Neutra and underwent an award-winning restoration by Marmol Radziner. The home inspired the iconic images of Julius Shulman and Slim Aarons. Listed in 2020 for $25 million, last month the property at 470 W Vista Chino was reduced and is now available for the low-low price of $19,750,000.
The Kaufmann Desert House, as most Palm Springs' mid-century modern homes, features large glass windows, some that slide open entirely to eliminate distinctions between inside and out.
These slates on the Kaufmann Desert House provide shade and allow the sun to play across them, casting different shadows as the sun moves across the sky each day.
This section of the Kaufmann Desert House features a cantilever roof and exemplifies the inside-outside living promoted by Palm Springs modernism.
Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor died in 2016, leaving behind a mid-century modern home in Palm Springs that went on the on the market for $969,000. The home features two bedrooms and two baths, a kidney-shaped pool, a separate casita. Like many of Palm Springs' mid-century modern homes, this one, built in1958, has a flat roof that serve as a platform to display the mountains, rather than blocking the view. (See more images of the Garbor home below and on Out.com)
Gabor's separate casita features glass walls and a cantilever roof.