Has the weather turned grey, making you long for summer? The Palm Springs Modernism Week Fall Preview (running 14 – 17 October 2021 with some 50 events) is here to remedy that, offering a glimpse of what might be on offer during the annual architectural festival in the West Coast of America. Desert Modernism? Check. Lush poolside parties? Check. City-wide tours, exhibitions and house visits? Check, check, check. This is the ultimate way to get to know the architects who built Palm Springs. Get ready for the autumn preview – a slice of what’s to come during the 2022 Palm Springs Modernism Week in February’s full-blown extravaganza (scheduled for 17 – 27 February 2022), which celebrates desert building, modernist architecture, Californian lifestyle, and good old-fashioned Palm Springs glamour.

A taster of the 2022 Palm Springs Modernism Week Preview

Twin Palms guided walking tour

the desert modernism of Hugh kaptur in palm springs
Hugh Kaptur (b. 1931) is one of Palm Springs’ most prolific architects and part of a group of modernists who defined Desert Modernism. Pictured here is his house for Hollywood actor Steve McQueen. Photography: Mark Davidson, excerpted from the publication Hollywood Modern (Rizzoli, 2018)

Take this walking tour for an insider’s look into one of Palm Springs’ most coveted and older neighbourhoods for midcentury architecture. Peek into homes and stroll around blocks to admire the works of Hugh Kaptur, William Krisel, Donald Wexler, and more, accompanied by juicy information from the tour’s knowledgeable guides. 

Frank Sinatra’s neighbourhood

frank Sinatra’s house in Palm Springs
The four-bedroom Twin Palms, which was infamous as a party house during Sinatra’s second marriage, to Ava Gardner, features a swimming pool shaped like a grand piano. Photography: Victoria Sambunaris

This tour takes you through the old stomping grounds of one of the most famous American stars of all time. Frank Sinatra’s modernist home by renowned architect E Stewart Williams is, of course, part of the package, but there’s more, from midcentury gems to Spanish revival abodes. 

Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F Cody

Cody house in palm springs
Goldberg House designed by William Cody in Palm Springs in 1962

This lecture offers everything you need to know about one of Palm Springs’ most iconic architects. Open and free for all, the one-hour event ‘chronicles modernist architect William F Cody’s significant contributions to Palm Springs’ built environment’.

Frey House II Tour

Frey house ii by Albert Frey in Palm Springs
Albert Frey was well known in the Palm Springs architecture scene for having designed some of the town’s most iconic houses. Pictured here, a key example, Frey House II

Another Palm Springs classic, the Frey House II comes with an arid, rocky location, amazing views of the city and the finest, experimental midcentury architecture. This house tour is complemented by a Palm Springs Art Museum tour (a fine architectural jewel in itself, designed in 1974, by E Stewart Williams). Don’t let this rare opportunity to visit this house by modernist Albert Frey pass you by. 

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