Six Happenings That are Sure to Enhance Your Modernism Week Experience
Written by: Lynne Eodice
Photography Provided By: Modernism Week Modernism Week Preview Events
Crazy about midcentury modern architecture? Can’t wait until the main event in February? Then plan on coming to Modernism Week’s Fall Preview, held Oct. 17-20 at various locations throughout the Coachella Valley! The annual 11-day festival will take place in February 2020, but in October, you can preview the main event with walking and double-decker bus tours, visiting fabulous midcentury homes in a variety of neighborhoods and enjoying evening cocktail parties. Over the past several years, the Fall Preview has grown immensely in popularity. This weekend is chock-full of activities, but here are five that you won’t want to miss.
Bus Around Yesteryear Modernism Week Preview Events
According to Bob Bogard, spokesperson of Modernism Week, the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour is “Modernism Week’s signature tour.” You’ll ride by major commercial and civic buildings and some awesome residential desert properties during this 2.5 hour open-air bus tour. “Tour highlights include William Krisel’s House of Tomorrow, Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison’s Steel Development Houses and E. Stewart Williams’ legendary ‘Twin Palms’ estate—the former residence of Frank Sinatra,” Bogard explains.
A Corner of Time Modernism Week Preview Events
This year’s Cul-de-Sac Experience theme is Cul-de-Sac A-Go-Go! “From the moment you enter this secluded circle in the iconic Canyon View Estates, you’re transported to 1966,” Bogard says. “William Krisel-designed homes are on tour, curated collections of classic vehicles are in the carports and driveways, and there are go-go platforms for our very own Cul-de-Sac Dancers to shake things up.” A new feature of the Cul-de-Sac Experience is a guided tour of the redesigned, drought-tolerant garden and pool areas.
Vintage Vendors Modernism Week Preview Events
“You’ll have the opportunity to purchase vintage 20th century modern furniture, artwork, sculptures, glass, silver, ceramics, rugs, posters, lighting, fashion, accessories and more from more than 40 exhibitors at the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale,” says Bogard. The show is open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20, with an early buying preview party on Friday, Oct. 18. You should be able to find all things midcentury modern at this event!
“[Frank Sinatra’s “Twin Palms” Estate Tour] is always one of the most popular events of Modernism Week’s Fall Preview,” Bogard points out. Designed by modernist architect E. Stewart Williams in 1947, the former home of Frank Sinatra is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation (PSPF) will be onsite to answer questions on this self-guided tour. So, make a plan to see this home that’s been described as “great midcentury design combined with Hollywood lore.”
On Friday, Oct. 18, PSPF will present “Recognizing Modernist Architect Hugh Kaptur” at Kaptur Plaza. On Saturday, Oct. 19, you’ll have the chance to tour a newly refurbished Kaptur structure, Palm Springs Fire Station #4 in south Palm Springs. You can also tour the John and Bessie Macy residence, a post and beam home designed by Kaptur. “On Sunday morning, Kaptur will be the focus of a talk called ‘The Architecture of Hugh Michael Kaptur’ at the Palm Springs Cultural Center,” adds Bogard.
Modernism Week has committed to donating $100,000 to the historic Plaza Theatre restoration project in Palm Springs. “We are committed to helping organizations preserve historic structures because we know that preserving our past helps create a richer and more dynamic future for our community,” says Chris Mobley, Modernism Week CEO. Since 1936, the theatre has served as a historical icon and influential hub for cinema and radio culture, and it has brought national recognition to the city of Palm Springs. The restoration project donation will help return this landmark to its former glory and, hopefully, create a unique space for today’s artists and audiences. You can support this cause, by simply buying tickets!
Lynne Eodice is an accomplished writer & photographer. She is the former Features Editor for Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic magazine, and has contributed her writing and/or editorial expertise to Photographer’s Forum, Rangefinder, DoubleExposure.com, California Tour & Travel, Family Photo and Adorama’s Learning Center. She is also the author of Photos That Inspire: Photo Workshop, an instructional book that’s illustrated with more than 200 images by various photographers, published by Wiley & Sons.