Palm Springs Modernism Week

Modernism Week Announces Fall Preview 2018 Schedule!

Palm Springs Modernism Week’s 2018 Fall Preview will take place October 18-21 at various locations throughout Greater Palm Springs. A full schedule of events featuring more than 50 events may be viewed online at; tickets may be purchased through the site now as well. The weekend’s events provide attendees with a sampling of the events and activities that will be offered during the annual 11-day festival in February 2019. Highlights of the October Fall Preview include a wide range of events in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells including walking tours, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus tours and Charles Phoenix-led bus tours, a tour showcasing homes across a range of neighborhoods, and a new mix of home tours, educational events, and evening cocktail parties. 

“Fall Preview is a wonderful opportunity for attendees to get a taste of what our 11-day festival in February will offer,” said Lisa Vossler Smith, Executive Director of Modernism Week. “This fun, four-day event offers entertaining tours, lectures, iconic architecture and parties similar to the upcoming 2019 event. We invite all visitors to Palm Springs and local residents alike to come see what Modernism Week is all about.”

Fall Preview allows attendees to get a sneak peak at what they might experience in February, including two Featured Homes. Modernism Week veteran designer Christopher Kennedy returns to Fall Preview with La Vie En Rose, a Modernism Week Featured Home (open Friday– Sunday, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $30) that debuts a spectacular renovation of a quintessential midcentury property. This 1958 home is in posh Vista Las Palmas and backs up to the San Jacinto mountains. In February, Kennedy will also offer tours of a different house, the 2019 Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound, featuring designs from 15 interior designers.

The other Modernism Week Featured Home is H3K Design’s Green Gables (open Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $30). Designed by Palmer-Krisel and built in 1958 by the Alexander Construction Company, this 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home is undergoing a complete renovation by H3K Design.  The house sits on an oversized manicured lot at the gateway to the Twin Palm development – the first major Alexander sub-division in Palm Springs.  The High Gable roofline is a quintessential example of mid-century modern design with walls of glass, dramatic ceilings floating in air and natural stone walls. This is the public debut of the house which features an expanded master bathroom, a restored interior atrium and a kitchen that pays homage to the kitchens of the day.


A hallmark of Modernism Week events are the inspirational and educational tours of neighborhoods and homes. New tours this year include: 

Steel x Three Tour, Saturday 10 am – 1 pm, $50 

This tour is a rare opportunity to visit three of the iconic Steel Development Houses (Steel #1, #2 and #4) designed by the architectural firm of Wexler & Harrison in 1962. The steel houses show how the combination of architectural imagination and factory-built components created a flexibility of construction that continues to inspire architects today. This tour is organized by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation.

The Essentials of Palm Springs ONE-PS Home Tour, Saturday 10 am – 2:30 pm, $65 

This Fifth annual tour showcases significant homes in a variety of Palm Springs neighborhoods. It is organized by ONE-PS. 

The Modern Heritage Home Tour (Rancho Mirage & Palm Springs) Saturday 1 – 5 pm, $150

Seven properties, seven unique examples of Desert Modernism, and one incredible tour.  This tour profiles homes designed by midcentury masters Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, Jon Walling, and more. The tour will conclude with a signature cocktail, at the last house on the tour. It is organized by Palm Springs Modern Committee.

Returning tours include the popular Cul-de-Sac Experience and Framed Spaces home tours. The “Cul-de-Sac Experience” at Canyon View Estates #4 will take place on Sunday, October 21 at 10 am. This tour combines vintage automobiles artfully displayed on the driveways of six homes designed by William Krisel in a quaint cul-de-sac in South Palm Springs. Participants have access to all of the homes on the tour, and tickets are $65. The “Framed Spaces Home Tour” on Saturday, October 20 will feature a collection of modernist homes that accentuates the “art” of living in the desert. The self-guided driving tour in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage will feature amazing spaces with framed views of landscaping, decorative features and art collections. The tour will conclude with a light reception at an iconic E. Stewart Williams-designed building. Tickets are $75.


What Modernism Week experience would be complete without ending the day with a spectacular cocktail party at an architecturally significant home? This year, Fall Preview attendees may attend: 

Cocktail Party at the House of Galanos: Thursday, Oct. 18, 6 – 8 pm, $150

This event takes place at the former home of fashion designer James Galanos, a stunning French Regency-style residence in Old Las Palmas. The original interior design was done by Hal Broderick, a co-founder of Arthur Elrod, Ltd. This event is a benefit for Mizell Senior Center. 

On Friday, October 19, Fall Preview attendees are invited to attend the festive Opening Night Party and Early Buying Preview Reception at the Modernism Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The popular Show and Sale, which offers important 20th and 21st century objects, furniture, art and textiles from more than 40 premier national and international decorative and fine arts dealers, continues on Saturday and Sunday. The Friday night party is the prime opportunity for shopping direct from dealers before the show opens to the public on Saturday. Tickets are available in advance for $60 at or at the door for $75 and include daily re-entry to the show. Weekend show hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

‘Mod Mirage’ Sunset Party at ‘White Shadows’ in Thunderbird Heights: Saturday, October 20, 5 – 8 pm, $100 

This special sunset party and home tour takes place at one of the most spectacular and oldest hillside homes in Thunderbird Heights located in Rancho Mirage. This is a rare opportunity to visit ‘White Shadows,’ designed in 1957 by Henry Eggers of Eggers & Wilkman (previously a partner with Gordon Kaufmann). ‘White Shadows’ has never before been open to the public. The party will also mark the official launch of the first comprehensive book on Rancho Mirage architecture, ‘Mod Mirage’, written by Melissa Riche, photography by Jim Riche, foreword by Brad Dunning; published by Gibbs Smith, sponsors of Modernism Week. 

“La Vie en Rose” Sunset Cocktail Party: Saturday, October 20, 6 – 8 pm, $70 

Guests will enjoy a relaxing sunset soirée at this sophisticated home in Vista Las Palmas, built by the Alexander Company in 1958 and recently renovated to warm, organic modernist perfection by Christopher Kennedy. Set dramatically against the mountain, guests are invited to tour the home and view the original, classic Alexander footprint that was tastefully expanded by a previous owner. 

Nod to Mod, a new nightly evening experience produced by PS Underground, is an upbeat retro  immersive five course culinary and dining experience with  live music and entertainment, limited to only 40 people per night from Thursday through Sunday from 7 – 10 pm. Admission is $125.

Indian Wells Celebrates Moroccan Midcentury Modern will enable attendees to learn about the beautiful renovation of the Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells and tour this architectural gem from the 1950’s, reimagined in 2018 by famed interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Guests will enjoy a cocktail and a bite from the Pink Cabana, the hotel’s ultra-stylish new restaurant. This event takes place on Friday, October 19 from 2-4:30 pm, and admission is $60.

Walker Guest House Replica, a stunning full-scale, furnished replica of architect Paul Rudolph’s iconic 1952 Walker Guest House, is being relocated to Palm Springs and reconstructed by Palm Springs Modern Committee. This is the first time the house will be shown on the west coast and only its second public outing. It will be located between the Palm Springs Art Museum and The Rowan Hotel in the new downtown development and will be open for tours during Fall Preview. Tickets at $10.

Also new this year is a partnership with Palm Springs Casual Concours X, the tenth annual classic car show at the Desert Princess Country Club in Cathedral City on Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm.  This popular event will feature approximately 100 cars set in a relaxed resort environment (hence the name, “Casual” Concours) with a dramatic backdrop of the mountains and palm trees. The show is organized by Great Autos of Yesteryear and proceeds from the event will benefit Sanctuary. Admission is $15.

Architectural enthusiast Gary Johns of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will reprise his popular Lost, Saved & Endangered presentation at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club on Sunday, October 21 at 9 am. This engaging and informative discussion details the many architectural treasures in the Coachella Valley that have been preserved, destroyed or that face an uncertain future. Admission to this popular presentation is free but participants must RSVP in advance.

Atomic Ranch returns this year with two new educational programs. On Friday, October 19, Atomic Ranch editor Sarah Jane Stone will lead an inspiring midcentury modern design-focused salon with Palm Springs design and build experts Kevin Kemper and Howard Hawkes of H3K Design at the Modernism Week Green Gables Featured Home from 3 – 5 pm. The following day, Sarah Jane will lead a panel discussion on midcentury modern Renovation Challenges at the Palm Springs Convention Center from 2 – 4 pm. Palm Springs Contractor Steven Shields will tackle the difficult questions about when to preserve, restore or renovate.

The Very Best of Mod with a Twist returns to the Fall Preview this year with an encore performance of their audience favorites. These witty and insightful 10-minute presentations explore life and culture in Midcentury America, often with a humorous and wry alternative analysis of what was going on in the country in that period. Nightly events and $50 per person and take place at the Desert Star from 5-6:30 pm.

Popular returning events include Modernism Week’s signature Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour that provides guests with a 2.5-hour overview of significant civic and commercial buildings, as well as residential properties. Daily tours depart from the parking lot of H3K Home, located at 501 South Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs, where Modernism Week will have a box office where attendees may purchase tickets to Fall Preview events. 

Following the Fall Preview, Modernism Week’s signature 11-day festival will take place February 14-24, 2019. The schedule and tickets will be available November 1 at 12 p.m. PST.

About Modernism Week:

Modernism Week is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, providing scholarships to local Palm Springs students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as giving grants to local and state organizations for their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California. 

Modernism Week’s Mission: 

The mission of Modernism Week is to celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in Palm Springs.

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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