Modernism Week Returns Fall 'Season Kick-Off' Event

Columbus Day weekend has architectural tours of Mid-Century, Desert Spanish styles

The Double Decker Bus Tours will highlight Modernism Week in Palm Springs' fall “season kick-off”.

James Schnepf/Palm Springs Project

Modernism Week in Palm Springs will once again tantalize architectural fans with a fall “season kick-off” over the Columbus Day holiday weekend, Oct. 11-14.

The three-day weekend’s schedule of events will include architectural tours, a retro “yard” sale, a swanky cocktail party, Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tours, and more.

“We’re thrilled to coordinate our October holiday weekend events with the efforts of other local partner organizations to produce this Fall Season Kick-Off, which has grown over the last two years into a wonderful preview of Modernism Week,” said Lisa Vossler Smith, executive director of Palm Springs Modernism Week. “We hope that desert residents and visitors will enjoy this opportunity to experience the same quality of tours and events, but without the larger crowds of our main event in spring.”

The Double Decker Bus Tours will highlight both of the predominant architectural styles of Palm Springs: Mid-century Modern and Desert Spanish. The tour includes homes of the ‘rich and famous’ such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Cary Grant, who each resided in visually striking and historically significant homes.

The desert Spanish roots of Palm Springs are highlighted with the Wellwood Murray Library, the Thomas O’Donnell house, and a duo of private estates, Il Paradiso and Invernada. Many of the city’s architecturally significant civic and commercial buildings are also a part of the tour, including the iconic Palm Springs Visitor Center (Frey & Chambers’ 1963 Tramway Gas Station).

Tours will depart from the Palm Springs Hilton Hotel, and advance reservations are required. Participation in events and tours helps support the mission of Palm Springs Modernism Week. Local partner organizations include Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture & Design Council, Palm Springs Historical Society, and Paul Kaplan Group’s “Modernism Yard Sale.”

Tickets go on sale Aug. 1 at

All events are open to the public and special hotel rates are available at Hilton Palm Springs, Modernism Week’s official host hotel. For more information, visit

The ninth annual Palm Springs Modernism Week will take place Feb. 13-23, 2014.

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