"Fall Kick-Off" Gives Taste of Modernism Week

Take in tours, cocktail parties, awards luncheon

The Modernism Week tour buses will be busy during the "Fall Season Kick-Off” set Oct. 11-14 in Palm Springs.

Jim Schnepf


Modernism Week's precursor, the “Fall Season Kick-Off” set Oct. 11-14, will feature architectural walking and bike tours; festive cocktail parties; the ever-popular “Lost, Saved and Endangered” lecture; double decker bus tours; the Modernism Yard Sale; and PS Mod Com’s Annual Preservation Awards Luncheon.

The fall event acts as a warmup and also a financial supporter for the main event, Modernism Week, slated for Feb. 13-23. Advance reservations for the October events are required.

Partner organizations include the City of Palm Springs, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture & Design Council, Palm Springs Modern Committee, Palm Springs Historical Society, Hot Purple Energy, Design 849, Paul Kaplan Group, and ModernBear.

Special rates are available before Sept. 20 at Hilton Palm Springs Resort, Modernism Week’s Official host hotel.

Friday, October 11                     
9 a.m.: Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
Cost: $75, departs from Hilton Palm Springs
400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs
The Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tours highlight the two predominate 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. The Desert Spanish roots of Palm Springs are represented by the Welwood Murray library, the Thomas O’Donnell house and the amazing estates, Il Paradiso and Invernada. Many of the city’s architecturally significant civic and commercial buildings are also a part of the tour.  Tours are conducted by informative and entertaining tour guides. Only the exteriors of properties are seen on the tour and there is one rest stop at the iconic Palm Springs Visitor Center.

1 p.m.: Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
Cost: $75, departs from Hilton Palm Springs
400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs                  

8 p.m. to midnight: “Suddenly 1954” Cocktail Reception
Design 849, 849 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm SpringsCost
Cost: $50

Join us as we return to the glamorous, carefree world of 1954 where you can dance to the popular music of the day, imbibe retro cocktails, and view fabulous vintage 1954 cars on display. In celebration of Modernism Week’s Fall Season Kick-Off, we pay tribute to our Design 849 building attributed to architect William Cody. Built in 1954 as Palm Springs’ original post office. Guests are encouraged to dress in the period.

Saturday, October 12
8 a.m. to Noon: Modernism Yard Sale, 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. You might find books, baubles and bar tools at the yard sale, which will take place in the parking lot at the Paul Kaplan Group’s headquarters.

9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
Cost: $75, departs from Hilton Palm Springs
400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs

9:30 – 11 a.m.: Modern Commercial Structures of Fashion and Finance Historical Walking Tour
Cost: $25 per person
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.

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Mod Goes Mass: Celebrity Homes in Vista Las Palmas Historical Walking Tour
Cost: $25 per person
Join the Palm Springs Historical Society for an exclusive walking tour of Vista Las Palmas, known as the mid-century Palm Springs neighborhood where architecture and celebrity make history. See quintessential homes that were created by the Alexander Construction Co. during the national phenomenon of tract home development in the early 1950’s. See a variety of iconic mid-century homes (exteriors only) including, Debbie Reynolds, Elvis Presley, Kim Novak, and many others.

9:30 a.m. to Noon: Stars and Star-chitects in Deepwell Historical Walking Tour
Cost: $40 per person
The Palm Springs Historical Society will lead you on a journey back in time as you 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). The tour includes a visit to a mid-century modern estate, once used as a movie location.

10:30 a.m.: Mid-Century Bike Tour – Hot Purple Energy Style
Free Admission, RSVP Required
Hot Purple Energy, Palm Springs leading alternative energy company, invites you for 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 HPE modernism week T-shirt. The ride will include mini lectures as we 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
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Palm Springs
Tickets: psmodcom.org
Cost: $50
The Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS Mod Com) Annual Preservation Awards Luncheon publicly celebrates and acknowledges a selected group who 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.

6-8 p.m.: “Welcome Back” Cocktail Party
Hosted by Palm Springs Art Museum, Architecture and Design Council
Cost: $100 non-member (includes new membership); $75 member
Celebrate Modernism Week’s Fall Season Kickoff with members of the Architecture and Design Council, their friends, guests and other like-minded folks that appreciate all things modern and architectural. Enjoy cocktails, tasty hors d’oeuvres and lively conversation while exploring this E. Stewart Williams-designed home high in the Little Tuscany neighborhood. It was most recently remodeled by Michael Johnston using contemporary materials and features, while maintaining the original spirit of Williams’ design.

Sunday, October 13                   
9 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour

Cost: $75, departs from Hilton Palm Springs
400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs

9:30 – 11 a.m.: Tennis Club Neighborhood Historical Walking Tour
Cost: $25 per person
Enjoy a special walking tour of the Historic Tennis Club Neighborhood led by the Palm Springs Historical Society. The neighborhood’s charm is its eclectic mixture of 400 homes, condos, apartments, inns, and restaurants, many surrounded by historic stone walls.

9:30 to Noon: Stars and “Star-chitects” in Deepwell Historical Walking Tour
Cost: $40 per person

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.: Mod Goes Mass: Celebrity Homes in Vista Las Palmas Historical Walking Tour
$25 per person

10 a.m.: Lecture - Lost, Saved & Endangered by Gary Johns
Presented by Palm Springs Preservation Foundation
Free with reservations required at: pspreservationfoundation.org

Monday, October 14                  
9 a.m.: Double Decker Architecture Bus Tour
Cost: $75, departs from Hilton Palm Springs
400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.: Inns, Architecture & Glamour Historical Walking Tour
$25 per person
Join the Palm Springs Historical Society for an informative and enjoyable 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.

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