Sunday, February 19, 2012

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

Right now, we're smack-dab in the middle of Modernism Week here in Palm Springs. It's actually an 11 day focus on mid-century modern design which includes architecture, art, culture, films, lectures, clothing, home furnishings and much more. Mid-Century Modern refers to the the period of 1940's, 50's and 60's design styles. Palm Springs was a hot bed of growth and development during that period, and has retained much of that style even today. In fact it is embraced and celebrated, this with events like Modernism Week. We have modernism built into the fabric of our community. According to their website, the Palm Springs Modern Committee is a "non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the heritage of modern architecture and historic neighborhoods in Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. Our goals include community education, outreach, and advocacy in creating a constituency for the appreciation and preservation of Desert Modern design". There is a great article from the LA Times that ran last year about Palm Springs Modernism if you want to check it out.

Adele Cygelman's great book, pics: David Glomb
Palm Springs is recognized as a mecca for all things mid-century modern. People come in droves to tour, shop and relive the era through period hotels, renting homes or dining in retro-restaurants. There are plenty of easy self-guided tours you can take as well. We have an excellent range of shops that specialize in selling  mid-century merchandise, so as resale, some new goods designed in the retro style. 

People from all over the world enjoy renting mid-century modern homes, sip martinis poolside and dream about what it was like to see Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack at local Palm Springs establishments. Friends of mine own a business called 'Vacation Palm Springs', which specializes in such rentals, short-term or long term.


Another great example of this is famed Palm Springs fashion designed Trina Turk. Her clothing and home furnishings are immediately identifiable and unique, but always bring you back to the 50's and 60's era.

A really cool thing to do while visiting Palm Springs is to take a guided tour. There are several good tours, particularly during Modernism week--which offer views of some of the most iconic designers and architects whose work is preserved, and alive and well here in the desert. Albert Frey homes, the Elrod house (made famous in the 007 flick Goldfinger), Numerous Alexander style properties, and much more. These designs will leave you longing to live here!

So if you are within driving distance to Palm Springs, or just feel spontaneous, hop on a quick flight to PSP International Airport and check it out. Incidentally, PSP was named one of the top ten most stress-free airports, by smartertravel.com. Nifty, huh?

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