From Parties to Tours, We Created Your Modernism Week Agenda
Written By: Erica Johnson
Photography Provided By: Dan Chavkin, Jake Holt, David A. Lee, Modernism Week, Jim Riche
Palm Springs—a town that is often considered a time capsule of ultra-modern ‘50s and ‘60s living. For the last 13 years, Modernism Week in Palm Springs has celebrated and showcased the ultimate in midcentury architecture, fashion, interior design and vintage culture. From Feb. 15 to 25, midcentury modern admirers are able to immerse themselves in tours, architecture and parties all centered around this era. But with so many events, it’s seemingly impossible to narrow down your agenda in those 10 days. Whether you’re a history buff or looking to party it up ‘50s style, we created a must-do list for every taste.
Modernism Week 2018
If you love Old Hollywood, you will drool over the homes featured this year. For the Rat Pack fans, take a tour of Frank Sinatra’s incredible “Twin Palms” Estate. Designed by E. Stewart Williams, this amazing home was Old Blue Eyes’ Palm Springs getaway from 1947-1957. You can also get a rare opportunity to spend an evening at Dinah Shore’s Estate, designed by Donald Wexler. Walking tours of the Old Las Palmas neighborhood showcase the exteriors of homes previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Katherine Hepburn, Gene Autry, Lena Horne, Cary Grant and Judy Garland.
Modernism Week 2018
Modernism Week marks an important time for preservationists and this year, tours of the Walter S. White Miles C. Bates in Palm Desert are sure to make jaws drop. Take the “Sacred Places – Modern Church Tour” featuring seven houses of worship. Visit the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, a 25,000-square-foot midcentury masterpiece built in 1966 with Mayan influences and designed by A. Quincy Jones. Attend “If You Build It—They Will Come,” a free presentation by historian and writer Melissa Riche, on the design and social impact of 1950s Country Clubs at the Rancho Mirage Public Library.
Modernism Week 2018
There’s just so much to geek out over! Besides checking out iconic structures like Frey House II, you can see the first completed residential commission in Palm Springs by the renowned firm Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects. “Ridge Mountain Residence” was built into the mountainside and designed to have minimal impact on its environment. For the Purist, take a tour of the iconic James Logan Abernathy Residence designed by William F. Cody in 1962.
Midcentury Modern Novice
For those that want to get their feet wet, a great way to learn about all things midcentury modern is to attend the 18th Annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. This popular event features 85 national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing twentieth century design. Enjoy Modernism Week’s signature Premiere Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour and spend two and a half hours visiting important civic, commercial buildings and residential properties in notable Palm Springs neighborhoods including the oldest existing structure in Palm Springs—the McCallum Adobe.
The Party Goer
Modernism Week parties are legendary, and there are so many fabulous ones to attend! Start with the Modernism Week Opening Night After Dark Party on Feb. 15, presented by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. This red carpet soiree features vintage-style entertainment and midcentury glamour at its finest. The Tiki Beat Party is a poolside shindig with music, dancing and specialty cocktails at the Royal Hawaiian Estates, a Polynesian paradise circa 1960. Looking for something different? Attend the NOD TO MOD dinner theater experience, billed as a “feast for the senses,” this event is interactive and features a five-course secret menu.
Ride in Style: If you want to feel “extra,” participants of the Modernism Week Signature Home Tour can upgrade to a VIP chauffeur experience in which up to three participants will be able to ride in style in Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUVs and wrap things up with an exclusive private reception.
So Vintage: One of the most anticipated events during Modernism Week is the Vintage Trailer Show. Join trailer owners, custom restoration craftsman and an incredible collection of vintage trailers, campers, buses and motor homes.
Native Knowledge: Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate has a piano-shaped swimming pool and is now available for weddings, corporate events and vacation rentals.