Modernism Goes Mobile

New app points you to architectural marvels.

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan No. 3, by E. Stewart Williams, architect; 1960.


You could pass right by a prime example of midcentury modern innovation and not realize it. You could overlook a subtle but inspired detail in an iconic symbol of environmental aesthetics. Or you could download the new Palm Springs Modern: Mid-Century Architecture Tours mobile application and become a well-informed aficionado of the local landscape as it relates to the heyday of structural design.

Palm Springs Modern Committee and Palm Springs Life partnered to create the essential guide for enthusiasts of the modernist approach. With properties including custom and tract houses, apartments and condos, inns, government buildings, commercial complexes, and even gas stations (one now the Palm Springs Visitors Center), the app lets you select from three tours based on geography (north, central, and south Palm Springs), 12 tours based on architects, or a user-created tour of “favorites” selected from the 83 sites covered.

Midcentury modern expert Robert Imber offers insightful text that includes background information, points out various design and construction elements, and explains the significance of the properties in the portfolios of the architects involved. PS ModCom founder and architectural historian Peter Moruzzi narrates the audio version of the tours. Photographs include recent and historic images (including some by Julius Shulman) showing both exterior and interior views. Videos accompany 22 locations.

While the tours include famous and lesser-known buildings and architects of the mid-1900s, a biographies section highlights 12 architects whose influence can still be felt and who helped bring the world’s attention to Palm Springs as a Mecca for midcentury modern style. Video accompanies six of the bios. Other features include maps and searches.

Here, we present a video showcasing the app's features and pictures of some sample properties. For the full experience, visit to download the app ($4.95) for your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.



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