Martinis &
Midcentury Modern

by Liz Dowling

Midcentury Modern Madness in Palm Springs last weekend!

Architects to know:  Albert Frey, Richard Neutra, Donald Wexler, William Cody, A. Quincy Jones, Charles Tanner.

Styles to memorize: Butterfly Roof, Swiss Miss, Brise-Soleil, Pattern Block, Clerestory Window.

Neighborhoods to browse:  Little Beverly Hills, Twin Palms, Old Las Palmas, Movie Colony East, Tennis Club.

All this, and 110 degree heat, had my head spinning!

Modernism Week in Palm Springs is all about the appreciation of midcentury architecture and design.

There are amazing tours of historic homes, parties, lectures and education about all things midcentury modern.

1946 Richard Neutra

1946 Richard Neutra

You might recognize this house from the famous Slim Aarons photo “Palm Springs Gossip.”

"Palm Springs Gossip"

“Palm Springs Gossip”

The current owners have restored this beauty back to its original condition.

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Mr. Frank Sinatra would hang a flag between two palm trees on his property (on right) to let his Hollywood peeps know he was having a party.

Frank Sinatra home / 1947

1947 Frank Sinatra home, designed by E. Stewart Williams

His “Twin Palms” estate set the standard for postwar Hollywood glamour and the ever-important cocktail hour.

1964 Dinah Shore home, designed by Donald Wexler

1964 Dinah Shore home, designed by Donald Wexler

Dinah Shore and many of her LA friends lived close together with secret backyard entrances between their homes.  Leonardo DiCaprio owns her home now.

1935 William Tanner

1935 Charles Tanner Community Church

The historically significant Palm Springs Community Church, designed by Charles Tanner, was considered avant-garde at the time.  It was destroyed in a September 2013 fire, but is slated for renovation and reuse in a collaboration between an LA design firm and the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory.

1966 Robert Alexander

1960 Robert Alexander

This pink “House of Tomorrow” is a midcentury modernism icon.  Elvis Presley leased the home in September 1966 for one year as a retreat from his activities in LA.  He and Priscilla honeymooned here in May 1967 and had Lisa Marie nine months later.

1947 William Cody

1947 William Cody

The Del Marcos Hotel was designed in 1947 by famed desert architect William Cody.  The 17-room hotel is the perfect midcentury modern place to stay in Palm Springs!

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My weekend also included fun in the sun.  DELICIOUS mojitos by my friend Jackie.  Charlotte and San Francisco friends gathering for dinners and parties.

A mean game of hearts ended my Palm Springs stay.  We played before, during and after dinner.  And D, I did not cheat!!!!!

Thanks to my Palm Springs hosts and all of the shenanigans that went along with the long weekend.

It is exciting to see all of the effort being put into the preservation of modern design, architecture and urban development in Palm Springs.  The midcentury modern period (1933 to 1965) is recognized by scholars and museums as a significant movement.

the wry home

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1 comment

Chicago El October 16, 2015 - 7:44 pm

looks like an amazing trip!!!

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