An architectural bus tour is a must-do
Palm Springs’ iconic midcentury architecture scene is the star of the show at Modernism Week’s Fall Preview.
The Abernathy house, designed by modernist architect William F. Cody in 1962
Just a taste of its signature 11-day celebration of midcentury architecture in February, Modernism Week’s Fall Preview (modernismweek.com) is a sneak peek with a four-day lineup of over 40 exclusive events in the Palm Springs area. From October 14 through 17, ticket holders will be treated to luxury home and design tours, expeditions to inspiring sites, talks from the best in the business, can’t-miss special events and fashionable parties. Various individual events make up a long weekend to satisfy your appetite for design—at least until February rolls around.
THE HOMES Modernism Week is partnering with builders and designers to showcase three stunning properties. For the first time, the Fall Preview will spotlight a property called Limón, a seven-bedroom renovation made completely of steel and inspired by sanguine times and the 1968 Mexico City Olympics graphic design. The next two properties are welcome encores of years past. Titled Sunburst Palms, this recasted home sits in the historic Deepwell neighborhood and was originally designed by Lawrence Lapham for an Oscar winner in 1956. Since renovated, Fall Preview guests who tour the property will be greeted with a fun and colorful take on midcentury design including vintage and restored decor and a stone waterfall. The third home is in the coveted Indian Canyons neighborhood and is lovingly christened Seventies Sackley, alluding to the 1975 property’s blending of vintage and contemporary elements. Designed by acclaimed architect Stan Sackley and adorned by Grace Home Furnishings, this home’s inspired take on Palm Springs style and blue-green color palette promise to please.
A ’70s-style great room by Grace Home Furnishings at the Seventies Sackley home in Indian Canyons.
THE TOURS A selection of walking and transportation tours at this year’s Fall Preview will prove educational for even the most thorough of local and visiting design buffls. The event’s hallmark daily double-decker architectural bus tour departs from the box office at Palm Springs Convention Center and covers the city’s most compelling commercial and civic buildings. Each morning at 8:30, early birds will be treated to a special version of this tour hosted by humorist and historian Charles Phoenix. Walking tours also abound, featuring several swanky destinations including Sunnylands (Modernism Week Executive Director Lisa Vossler Smith’s personal favorite); Frank Sinatra’s estate; the James Logan Abernathy residence; and, for the first time, the desert’s original modernist neighborhood, Twin Palms.
A highlighted home on the “Walking the Wells” tour.
THE TALKS Diving into life in midcentury America, “The Best of Mod With a Twist” is returning to this year’s event, bringing a humorous analysis in speedy 10-minute increments for the first three nights of the Fall Preview. Then, two splendid events are slated for the next morning: a presentation on the legacy of Palm Springs modernist architecture by the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, and an inspiring account of architect William F. Cody’s career and contributions during the height of the modern architecture movement. Attendees will also have the unique opportunity to converse with Atomic Ranch editors and Dazey LA designer Danielle Nagel, whose William Krisel remodel put a spectacularly vibrant twist on the original midcentury architecture. The final day introduces “The Desert Modernists,” an enriching talk and screening with Alan Hess focusing on the renowned architects who transformed Palm Springs into a distinguished midcentury design hub.
At Sunburst Palms—a home designed by Lawrence Lapham and built for Academy Award winner Edward “Bud” Furer in 1956—the kitchen offers a serotonin blast
THE SPECIAL EVENTS “What Modernism Week experience in Palm Springs would be complete without ending the day at a spectacular cocktail party?” Vossler Smith asks insightfully. Ranging from boozy soirees and classes to a dinner show, a Hawaiian-themed luau and exclusive shopping opportunities, Modernism Week’s Fall Preview special events and parties are not to be overlooked. An opening night party and early buying preview reception will kick off the long weekend with a selection of chic decor and textiles that won’t be available to the public until the next day. And for the lovers of what sits inside the multicar garages of the featured midcentury renovations, the festivities include a classic car show with about 150 headlines to impress in front of a scenic mountain backdrop, as well as a car rally and scavenger hunt that will be a prize whether you win or not.