October Event Features Tours, Educational Programs, and Parties that Celebrate Midcentury Modern Architecture and Design in Palm Springs
Posted by John Grafman
Cover photo by Tom Dolle
Other images by John Grafman
Modernism Week’s 2021 Fall Preview will take place October 14-17 at various locations in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. A full schedule of events featuring more than 40 events may be viewed online at modernismweek.com starting July 25 and tickets will go on sale August 1, 2021 at 12 noon PST. The events provide attendees with the opportunity to celebrate midcentury modern architecture, lifestyle, and design and participate in events and activities that are new and unique to this year, returning favorites, and events that will also be offered during the annual 11-day festival in February 2022. Highlights of the October Fall Preview are a wide range of events including three featured designer properties available for daily tours, historic walking tours, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus tours and Charles Phoenix- led bus tours, the Modernism Show and Sale – Fall Edition, the popular Cul-de-Sac A-Go-Go! home tour experience, educational events, and evening cocktail parties.
“We are very excited to present Fall Preview with a full and robust event schedule for 2021. We invite everyone to experience new and exciting events offered exclusively during the four-day October festival and also get a taste of what the 11-day festival in February will offer,” said Lisa Vossler Smith, Executive Director of Modernism Week. “Locals and visitors alike will find an exciting array of entertaining tours, iconic architecture and great poolside parties.”
Modernism Week – Featured Homes and Designer Projects
Each year Modernism Week teams up with builders and designers to offer tours of its featured design projects. During Fall Preview, Modernism Week Featured Home Tours include “Seventies Sackley” and “Sunburst Palms” which are back by popular demand from their debut in April 2021. In addition, a third designer property on view is “Modernism Week Featured Design Project Tour: Limón” which will also be available for daily tours.
“Sunburst Palms” – Tour H3K Home & Design’s latest renovation of a 1956 Lawrence Lapham property in the iconic Deepwell neighborhood and be inspired by their fun-filled and colorful take on classic midcentury modern design.
“Seventies Sackley” – This architectural home tour in the Indian Canyons neighborhood will allow participants to experience a seamless blend of contemporary furnishings and vintage pieces on display at this stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence designed by noted architect Stan Sackley and offered by Grace Home Furnishings.
“Featured Design Project Tour: Limón” – This colorful seven-bedroom property was recently extensively renovated by H3K Home & Design which transformed the property into a holiday landing place that can accommodate 14 guests in separate suites, all surrounding a gleaming swimming pool. An all-steel structure, Limón is one of the most unique buildings in Palm Springs and features a large communal kitchen outfitted with state-of-the-art appliances and international décor. The property’s design was inspired by the optimistic era and continental graphics and style of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Modernism Week top sponsors Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, JennAir, and Willis generously contributed to all three of these projects.
Tours – Exploring Mid-Century Modern Design
A hallmark of Modernism Week events are the inspirational and educational tours of neighborhoods, significant buildings, and residences. Tours this year include:
Modernism Week’s signature Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour provides guests with a 2.5-hour overview of significant civic and commercial buildings, as well as residential properties. Daily tours will depart from the Palm Springs Convention Center, where Modernism Week will have a box office and attendees may purchase tickets to Fall Preview events. Legendary performer Charles Phoenix will conduct his special version of this tour each day at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $110 for the standard tour and $130 for the Charles Phoenix tour.
Don’t miss the popular Cul-de-Sac A-Go-Go! home tour. This exciting retro tour will take place on Sunday, October 17 at 10 a.m. It combines vintage automobiles artfully displayed on the driveways of six homes designed by William Krisel in a quaint cul-de-sac in South Palm Springs. Participants have access to all of the homes on the tour, and tickets are $75.
The Twin Palms Guided Walking Tour: An Insider’s Perspective of the Desert’s First Modernist Neighborhood is a great opportunity to explore the desert’s first Modernist neighborhood from the unique perspective of a Twin Palms resident, local author, and neighborhood organization founder who will lead the group.This is the first time this tour is being offered during Modernism Week Fall Preview. The tour takes place Oct. 14, 16 and 17 at various times and tickets are $32.
Other exciting tours include Palm Springs Historical Society daily walking tours, Frank Sinatra’s “Twin Palms” Estate Tour, the James Logan Abernathy Residence Tour, tours of Sunnylands, Temple Isaiah, and a special walking tour and lunch in Indian Wells.
Talks at Modernism Week
On Sunday, October 17, Modernism Week will present “The Desert Modernists” Screening and Talk with Alan Hess. This informative talk will provide a primer on notable architects William Cody Modernism and Albert Frey and will include a screening of the Desert Modernists video series. This specially created film produced by Modernism Week looks more closely at each of the consequential architects who turned Palm Springs into a renowned laboratory for Modern architecture. Tickets are $20 and the event will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will present Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody, an informative lecture chronicling modernist architect William F. Cody’s significant contribution to Palm Springs’ built environment. This event takes place October 15 at 11 a.m. and is free, but participants must RSVP in advance. The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will also reprise the popular Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs presentation at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club on Sunday, October 15 at 9 a.m.
The Best of Mod with a Twist returns to the Fall Preview this year with an encore performance of their audience favorites. These witty and insightful 10-minute presentations explore life and culture in Midcentury America, often with a humorous and wry alternative analysis of what was going on in the country in that period. Nightly events October 14 -16 are $55 per person and take place from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Special Events Galore
Beatnik, PS UNDERGROUND’s brand-new dinner show, will allow participants to channel their inner Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac as they snap their fingers to the beat and enter the mysterious but welcoming world of beatniks. This extended dining adventure includes a delicious multiple-course meal featuring distinct fragrances of perfectly toasted spices from around the world that will enhance the flavorful dishes prepared by PS UNDERGROUND’S culinary creators. A full bar is included in the price of admission. This event runs nightly Thursday – Saturday. Tickets are $150.
Each day at noon and 3 pm a Midcentury Mixology Cocktail Clinic will be presented at Mr. Lyons Steakhouse in Palm Springs. Participants will interact with legendary mixologists to learn how to make iconic, classic cocktails of the midcentury era while making their own for sampling. (Includes 3 drinks). Tickets are $62.
A Curated Vintage Event will take place on October 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where retailers and private dealers from all over will showcase their finest hard to find vintage apparel, textiles, jewelry, and accessories in one upscale venue at Temple Isaiah. Tickets are $15 for first dibs preview and $10 for general admission.
The Palm Springs Casual Concours XII classic car show returns this year at the Desert Princess Country Club in Cathedral City on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This popular event will feature approximately 150 cars set in a relaxed resort environment with a dramatic backdrop of the mountains and palm trees. The show is organized by Great Autos of Yesteryear and proceeds from the event will benefit Sanctuary Palm Springs. Admission is $20.
Try your luck in the new It’s a MOD, MOD, MOD, MOD World – Car Rally and Scavenger Hunt on October 17. Architectural gems and design treasures fuel this epic scavenger hunt where Palm Springs is the game board. Following a series of clues, trace a course through the heart of the city, picking up playing cards along the way that just might score you a prize. Tickets are $100.
Parties and More
What Modernism Week experience in Palm Springs would be complete without ending the day with a spectacular cocktail party at an architecturally significant home? This year, Fall Preview offers:
On Friday, October 15, Fall Preview attendees are invited to attend the festive Opening Night Party and Early Buying Preview Reception at the Modernism Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The popular Show and Sale, which offers important 20th and 21st century objects, furniture, art and textiles from more than 40+ premier national and international decorative and fine arts dealers, continues on Saturday and Sunday. The Friday night party is the prime opportunity for shopping direct from dealers before the show opens to the public on Saturday. Tickets are available in advance for $75 at modernismweek.com or at the door for $85 and include daily re-entry to the show. Weekend show hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
On October 16 Fall Preview participants may experience a Tiki Luau at the Tiki Hotel. Join the Hawaiian-themed fun at a festive tropical catered luau. This is the perfect experience to remember an era gone by and revived right here in Palm Springs. Tickets are $80.
Also on October 16, participants may choose to experience A Mod Evening at Miralon from 5 – 7 p.m. This new event, held at the exclusive Miralon residential community in Palm Springs, will feature live music by the Martini Kings, martinis and the ultimate Palm Springs vibe. Tickets are $35.
Following the Fall Preview, Modernism Week’s signature 11-day festival will take place February 17-27, 2022. Tickets will be available November 1 at 12 p.m. PST. To receive updates, visit modernismweek.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.