Event Features Signature Home Tours in Palm Springs, Featured Home Tours, Tours of Iconic Homes, and Much More
Modernism Week, the annual event that highlights midcentury modern architecture, art, interior and landscape design, and vintage culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, will offer a wide range of tours during its February festival, taking place February 15-25, 2024. In addition to a wide array of compelling programing, the popular annual 11-day event will provide participants with the unique ability to tour architecturally significant homes and buildings that are rarely open to the public. All events will be on sale at modernismweek.com starting at noon on November 1. Some events sell out quickly due to limited ticket capacity.
This year, Modernism Week will present two Featured Home Tours, open for public tours and events most days and some evenings during Modernism Week.
Modernism Week Featured Home Tour: Wexler ’54 (2/16 – 2/19 and 2/23 – 2/25, $40)
This tour of the recently renovated and historically designated Wexler ’54 is a must-see. Located in the Deepwell Estates neighborhood, this Wexler-Harrison home is a quintessential example of post and beam residential design and a model of thoughtful architectural preservation. The current homeowners worked with architect and preservation consultant Susan Secoy Jensen, AIA, to develop an architectural plan and pursue a historic designation to help protect and preserve the home, which was granted in 2022. H3K Home + Design took the profile of the 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home back to its roots to retain the best of midcentury style and elegance while creating a home that supported today’s lifestyle inside and out. Modernism Week sponsors Baldwin, Brizo, California Closets, Dunn-Edwards, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Flor, JennAir, and Willis generously contributed to this stunning and soulful renovation.
Modernism Week Featured Home: The Shag House (2/16-2/19 and 2/23-2/25, $40)
The artist Shag has reimagined a cherished midcentury modern pool home in the Little Beverly Hills neighborhood of Palm Springs to create a fully immersive tour experience that will make visitors feel as though they have climbed into a life-size Shag painting. Shag has drawn upon his architectural studies and the aesthetic of his artwork to reimagine this classic 1958 home, originally designed for the Alexander Construction Company. For the core of the house, Shag preserved much of the original Palmer & Krisel layout of this classic Alexander design, but created an entirely new front exterior, expanded the front entry, and converted the original breezeway into a swank party lounge. Modernism Week sponsors Brizo, California Closets, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting, JennAir, and Willis generously contributed to this project.
The Coachella Valley has always been a haven for architects and residents who have been attracted to the unique qualities of the desert landscape and lifestyle. Each year, Modernism Week curates a tour of some of the area’s most significant residences in self-driven Signature Home Tours. This year, Modernism Week’ Palm Springs Signature Home Tour takes place on two dates. New this year, two separate individual tours are also offered a part of the Signature Home Tour experience.
Palm Springs Signature Home Tour (2/18 and 2/25, $150)
This is the legendary ‘best of the best’ home tour in Palm Springs that has highlighted different neighborhoods and architectural styles during Modernism Week for more than 10 years. Held on two Sundays and offered in morning or afternoon segments, this popular tour takes visitors inside a curated selection of iconic architectural homes by some of the area’s most noted architects and explores different neighborhoods and architectural styles. A keepsake tour program and map are included.
This year Modernism Week will also present two additional tours in this category:
- A Signature Home Tour: Monday Edition, Meet the Architect (2/19, $50)
An exclusive one house Signature Home Tour showcasing the creative work of Architect Mark W. Daniels, AIA. Transcending the ordinary, this remarkable architectural home boldly embraces simplicity.
- A Signature Home Tour: Friday Edition, Meet the Design Team (2/23, $50)
This exclusive one house Signature Home Tour showcases the talents of Lance O’Donnell, AIA and the interior design team of Capurro + Davis Design in the hillside neighborhood of Little Tuscany.
In addition, Modernism Week offers tours of other extraordinary homes:
This year is the inaugural season of the new Restoration Series, home tours devoted to celebrating significant examples of Desert Modernist architecture that have been preserved, restored, and contain carefully curated furnishings and décor. The modernist masterpiece Sutter House, by architect E. Stewart Williams AIA, 1958, is Palm Springs Historic Site #133 and the first to be featured in this new series. The home has been carefully updated and furnished with thoughtful attention to the period.
Home Tour of “That Pink Door House,” Villa Sierra (2/20 and 2/21, $40)
Step behind the famous pink doors of the playful Villa Sierra, a colorful take on midcentury modern Hollywood regency-style designed by James McNaughton. This is a rare opportunity to take in all the colorful surprises of this iconic midcentury desert ranch-style home, including expansive public rooms of grand proportions and floor-to-ceiling windows that blur the boundary of inside and outside.
House of Tomorrow Tour (2/15 – 2/25, $55 tour, $100 tour and twilight reception)
Discover the newly renovated Alexander Estate, known as the House of Tomorrow and popularly as the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway where Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned in 1967. Located in the historic Vista Las Palmas neighborhood, this extraordinary home was built in 1960 by architect William Krisel for Helene and Robert Alexander of the Alexander Construction Company. The architect designed a series of four interconnected circular pods, embodying Krisel’s view that “circles have no edge, you can approach them from anywhere.” Many original and dramatic features have been restored including the terrazzo floors, windows, ceiling mounted fireplaces and the custom circular sofa in the living room. A twilight tour and bubbly for a limited number of guests at House of Tomorrow is available at 4:30 p.m. each evening.
Sunnylands Historic House Tour (2/21 – 2/25, $75)
In groups of seven, visitors on this tour are taken on electric shuttles from Sunnylands Center & Gardens to the former winter home of Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg. A midcentury masterpiece with Mayan influences, the 25,000-square-foot residence was completed in 1966 by famed architect A. Quincy Jones. Due to limited availability, these tours always sell out.
Frey House II Tour (2/15 – 2/25, $75, $125 tour and twilight reception)
These special small group tours are a rare opportunity to see the former residence of modernist architect Albert Frey, widely recognized as one of the most important examples of modernist architecture in Palm Springs. Architects, scholars, and students from around the world come to Palm Springs to study and appreciate Frey’s unique understanding of function, form, practicality, and love for the desert landscape. A twilight tour and bubbly for a limited number of guests at Frey II is available at 4:30 PM each evening.
Modernism Week newbies will be pleased to see that many “fan favorite” tours will return this year. Highlights include the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours (including an Illuminated Twilight Tour, The Homes That Define Palm Springs Bus Tour, and special tours led by Charles Phoenix and Bella da Ball). There will be tours of iconic homes, including residences formerly owned by Frank Sinatra, and William Holden. Also included are the small-group Midcentury Top Ten Tour: Ten Architects Who Made Palm Springs Modern, Modern Garden Tour, walking tours in Palm Springs, neighborhood tours, tours of the historic Temple Isaiah, and the Lautner Compound.
Tickets for tours and all other Modernism Week programs may be purchased in advance at modernismweek.com or on-site during the event at CAMP, Modernism Week’s central meeting hub and on-site theater located inside the Hyatt Hotel on Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs. CAMP is free and open to the public every day during Modernism Week from February 15 – 25.
These are just a small sampling of the more than 350 programs that will be offered during the 11-day festival. Visit modernismweek.com to view the entire schedule.
Modernism Week top sponsors include Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, JennAir, Flor, Natural Retreats, and Willis. The City of Palm Springs is the Civic Presenting Sponsor. To receive Modernism Week updates, visit modernismweek.com and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and Threads.