Modernism Week’s cool, iconic, modern February festival is an exciting 11-day celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. Events include the Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes, architectural walking, biking and double-decker bus tours, a world-class lecture and film series, tours of the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, a Palm Springs Walk of Starsdedication for architect Richard Harrison, vintage fashion, classic cars, garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and Modern Giants – a celebration of the area’s largest collection of midcentury modern commercial buildings at Eisenhower Medical Center. https://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/events/signature-events/modernism-week/
It was the “The Atomic Age” and Palm Springs captured the futuristic mood like no other place on earth. Nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains is this famed Palms Springs Tennis Club Neighborhood. This area has an eclectic mix of boutique hotels and private sanctuaries that became hideaways for the stars like Errol Flynn, Lucille Ball, Doris Day and Gloria Swanson. Today Hollywood hipsters like Robert Downey Jr. and Reese Witherspoon enjoy these unique resorts.
See close-up the inns and resorts that were, and remain today, havens for the stars. Many were designed and built after WWII when America’s appetite for Modern design was the rage.
This tour will view EXTERIORS ONLY led by a docent.
Free parking in the parking garage on E. Baristo and S. Indian Canyon Drive.
Please wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hats, and bring water.
Please no pets; service dogs welcome.
All tour duration times are approximate.
This event is for ages 10 and older.
The Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour provides guests with a 2.5 hour overview of significant civic and commercial buildings, as well as residential properties located within notable Palm Springs neighborhoods, including the midcentury “leisure lifestyle” communities in South Palm Springs. Lead by knowledgeable guides, this open-air experience offers unique, exterior perspectives of Desert Spanish and Midcentury Modern architecture, two predominant styles found in Palm Springs. From the oldest existing structure in Palm Springs, the McCallum Adobe, and the expansive grounds of the exclusive Villa Paradiso Estate, to Albert Frey’s 800 square foot “Frey House II” perched on the mountainside, passengers will gain a better understanding of the historical richness and architectural diversity found in this desert oasis.
Tour highlights include exterior views of William Krisel’s House of Tomorrow, Richard Neutra’s architectural masterpiece, the Kaufmann Desert House, Donald Wexler & Richard Harrison’s Steel Development Houses, and E. Stewart Williams’ legendary “Twin Palms” estate, the former residence of Frank Sinatra. Other architecturally significant buildings on the tour will include Palm Springs City Hall, Saint Theresa Parish, and the iconic Tramway Gas Station, now the Palm Springs Visitors Center. Discover why Palm Springs is synonymous with Desert Modernism!
Check-in: Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your tour departure time or risk the possibility of your seat being sold to stand-by passengers. Bus tours depart promptly.
This tour is EXTERIOR VIEWS ONLY.
Seating: Tickets are for upper deck only
Prohibited: Alcoholic beverages, smoking, vaping, food, glass containers, and pets.
Hats and sunscreen highly recommended.
Comfort Stop: Yes
Wheelchair Accessibility: Lower deck only.
This event is for all ages.
Free parking is available on nearby streets.
Modernism Week’s signature February Event is an annual celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. This exciting festival takes place in February in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. Modernism Week features more than 350 events including the Modernism Show & Sale, Signature Home Tours, films, lectures, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, nightly parties and live music, walking and bike tours, tours of Sunnylands, fashion, classic cars, modern garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and more.
In addition to the events in February, Modernism Week hosts the “Fall Preview” weekend in October. Partner organizations collaborate to produce a “mini-Modernism Week” to kick-off the active social and recreational season in Palm Springs.
Modernism Week is also a charitable organization, providing scholarships to local students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as supporting local and state preservation organizations and neighborhood groups in their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California.