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Palm Springs "Mini-Modernism" Week debuts this fall
Oct 9, 2013

Palm Springs Modernism Week is set to present its “Mini Modernism Week” over Columbus Day weekend, October 11-14. This is an abridged version of the main event (February 13 – 23) including a plethora of events from architectural walking and bike tours to festive cocktail parties, the popular “Lost, Saved and Endangered” lecture, and the Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tours.
Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect:
Friday, October 11
9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.—Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour

The Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tours highlight the two predominant architectural styles of Palm Springs: Mid-Century Modern, and Desert Spanish. The tour includes many homes of the rich and famous such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Cary Grant, all of who resided in striking architectural homes. Cost: $75.
8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.—“Suddenly 1954” Cocktail Reception at Design 849
Guests are invited to return to the glamorous, carefree world of 1954. Lounge under the stars in Design 849’s beautiful courtyard, sip cocktails and watch models parade in ‘50s fashions. Cost: $50.
Saturday, October 12
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.—Modernism Yard Sale at 1701 N. Palm Canyon Drive
The Paul Kaplan Group, a boutique Palm Springs’ real estate firm, and ModernBear are sponsoring the second annual Modernism Yard Sale, a celebration of mid-century modern collectables. Local and out of area vendors that specialize in mid-century items in addition to local homeowners who have cleaned out their closets will be there selling unique modern wares and tchotchkes.
9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.—Modern Commercial Structures of Fashion and Finance Historical Walking Tour
The Palm Springs Historical Society presents an insightful walking tour of significant commercial buildings along South Palm Canyon Drive. These icons of desert modern architecture were designed and built in the 1950s and 60s for the pillars of finance and fashion. Explore the innovative mid-century buildings that put Palm Springs’ commercial architecture on the map. Cost: $25.
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.—Mod Goes Mass: Celebrity Homes in Vista Las Palmas Historical Walking Tour

An exclusive walking tour of Vista Las Palmas shows quintessential homes that were created by the Alexander Construction Company during the national phenomenon of tract home development in the early 1950’s. See a variety of iconic Mid-Century homes (exteriors only) in this trendy neighborhood, set against the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains, where many celebrities lived and entertained including Debbie Reynolds, Elvis Presley, Kim Novak, and many others. Cost: $25.
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.—Stars and Star-chitects in Deepwell Historical Walking Tour
The Palm Springs Historical Society will lead guests on a journey back in time as they experience the distinct architecture of the Deepwell neighborhood in Palm Springs. Stroll through the streets named after desert flora—Cactus, Manzanita, Ocotillo, Mesquite, Palm Tree, Driftwood and Sagebrush. This pristine mid-century neighborhood has elegant Modernist homes designed by the desert’s most renowned architects. View homes of some of Hollywood’s biggest names (Loretta Young, William Holden, Liberace, Jerry Lewis, and others). Learn fascinating secrets of the stars. The tour includes a visit to a Mid-century Modern estate, once used as a movie location. Cost: $40.
10:30 a.m.—Mid-Century Bike Tour—Hot Purple Energy Style
Hot Purple Energy (HPE), Palm Springs leading alternative energy company, invites guests on a Mid-Century Bike Tour through South Palm Springs. A free HPE-hosted event, the first 75 riders to RSVP will receive a gift bag including a special edition t-shirt. The ride will include mini lectures as attendees pass some of the iconic homes along the way, including some that have discreet HPE solar systems. A post-ride party will follow, complete with a free fall-inspired feast, the solar powered HPE All-Star band, as well a special architectural guest lecturer.
12:15 – 2:15 p.m.—Palm Springs Modern Committee Awards Luncheon, Hilton Palm Springs Ballroom
The Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS Mod Com) Annual Preservation Awards Luncheon publicly celebrates and acknowledges a selected group who through their vision, commitment and talent have preserved the original integrity of or sympathetically restored one of the desert’s modern architectural treasures or who has gone above and beyond to keep preservation in the public eye and consciousness. Also recognized are the creators of contemporary new architecture inspired and informed by the modern style. Cost: $50.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.—“Welcome Back” Cocktail Party Hosted by Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Council
Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and conversation while exploring the E. Stewart Williams-designed home high in the Little Tuscany neighborhood. This home includes many of Williams’ signature features such as the use of natural materials and orientation to maximize the view. With reference to the original plans and construction documents, it was most recently remodeled by Michael Johnston using contemporary materials and features, while maintaining the original spirit of Williams’ design. Cost: $100 non-member (includes new membership); $75 member.
Sunday, October 13
9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Tennis Club Neighborhood Historical Walking Tour
Guests are invited on a walking tour of the Historic Tennis Club Neighborhood led by the Palm Springs Historical Society. Get an inside look at how Modernism took center stage in this Palm Springs neighborhood situated at the base of Mt. San Jacinto. The neighborhood’s charm is its eclectic mixture of 400 homes, condos, apartments, inns, and restaurants, many surrounded by historic stonewalls. View Mid-Century Modern and Spanish Revival architecture with breathtaking views, lush landscaping, and a relaxing atmosphere. Cost: $25.
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.—Stars and “Star-chitects” in Deepwell Historical Walking Tour

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Mod Goes Mass: Celebrity Homes in Vista Las Palmas Historical Walking Tour

10:00 a.m.—Lecture: Lost, Saved & Endangered by Gary Johns Presented by Palm Springs Preservation Foundation. RSVP required to attend.
Monday, October 14
9:00 a.m.—Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Inns, Architecture & Glamour Historical Walking Tour
Join the Palm Springs Historical Society for an informative tour of some of the most beautiful historic inns in Palm Springs. See a variety of architectural styles including Spanish, Mediterranean, Ranch and Mid-Century Modern. Take in the spellbinding view of the majestic Mt. San Jacinto and swaying palms surrounding the historic properties. Experience the sophisticated glamour and the retro-chic vibe where the rich and famous play and stay. Cost: $25.
All events are open to the public. Ticket and RSVP information can be found on the website. The ninth annual Palm Springs Modernism Week will take place from February 13-23, 2014. Programming and schedules will be announced throughout the coming months.

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