The Architecture Nerd’s Guide to Modernism Week 2017

A comprehensive hit list for the architectural geeks at Modernism Week.

Modernism Week is like an eleven-day summer camp for architectural fiends. With hundreds of events planned, experiencing this cultural phenomenon can sometimes be overwhelming, so let us be your counselors and check out this curated hit list for the well-prepared architectural tourist. For the full list of new events added today, click here.

Image: Darren Bradley
Image: Darren Bradley

Frey House II Tours
A tour of the iconic Frey House II is among one of the hot ticket items at Modernism Week.  These docent-led tours hosted by the Palm Springs Museum of Art Architecture and Design Council last about 45 minutes and often sell out by the end of November.  The secret to snagging a spot — besides not procrastinating — is to look at early bird times during the week (try Wednesday!).  That said, if you’re lucky enough to snag a midweek spot on the last tour of the day, pay a bit extra and you can stay for a glass of wine in the diminutive residence and channel your inner Albert Frey as you watch the sun set over the city. Life goals.

beadle_1Chino Canyon Project: Two New Architectural Masterpieces
Don’t miss your chance to get a peek inside two of the last homes to be built on the hillside above Palm Springs.  The Chino Canyon Project represents the mindful neighboring of old and new. Two architectural homes, one based on a never-constructed plan by late midcentury modern architect Al Beadle, the other by esteemed Palm Springs architect Lance O’Donnell, exemplify the very best of midcentury and contemporary modern architecture in Palm Springs.  Twelve self-guided tours run daily throughout Modernism Week.  Get your tickets here.

cody-residence-street-entryFAST FORWARD Architecture of William F. Cody
Few masters are truly appreciated in their time, but William F. Cody (1916-1978) was a living legend among architects throughout the midcentury. Widely acknowledged as a forward-thinking, urbane architect who merged luxury with technology to achieve a high-style experimental modernism, Cody’s prolific body of work changed the way the world experienced modern architecture. Check out “FAST FORWARD,” a rare exhibition of images, photos, plans and more spanning Cody’s career; some never previously on display. Open for viewing daily at the Palm Springs Library. Get your tickets here.

lautner_exterior-7Hotel Lautner Tour
It is definitely worth the architectural pilgrimage out to Desert Hot Springs to see the Lautner.  The iconic desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel was reimagined as the award winning Hotel Lautner in 2011. Owners and designers, Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge, meticulously renovated the property over a period of 3½ years. They paid homage to the four primary elements used in the original construction of the property: concrete, steel, redwood and glass winning the “Palm Springs Modern Committee – Best Commercial Renovation Award” and “Voted 12th Best Designed Hotel” by California Home + Design Magazine.  Sunday, Feb. 19, three tours throughout the day.  Get your tickets here.


Eichler Day: Panel, Film, and Tour
For fans of the iconic midcentury modern builder, this full-day event is not to be missed. Catch a panel with Eichler experts including Julian Goldklang and Desiree Myers, Mod Squad alums and the duo behind Midcentury Mobler.  Stay to watch the remastered version of “People in Glass Houses,” before heading off to visit the Desert Eichlers, a suite of three contemporary Eichlers built by KUD Properties.  Only on Saturday, February 18 from 10am to 4:30pm. Get your tickets here.

Image: Jake Holt

James Logan Abernathy Residence Tour
If you missed the Mad Men party last year, this is your chance to get a peek inside the iconic residence designed by William F. Cody for millionaire socialite James Logan Abernathy in 1962.  The pavilion-style house features a stunning interior appointed with rare midcentury furniture.  Special thanks to the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation for hosting this very special tour.  Get your tickets here.