Can’t Wait for Modernism Week 2018? Fall Preview Is Just around the Corner!

If you’re like me, Palm Springs Modernism Week is one of the highlights of the season! Can’t wait till February? You’re in luck: Modernism Week Fall Preview (October 19-22, 2017) is just around the corner. This exciting event has been expanded to four days and is an excellent opportunity to get a sneak peak at what will be coming up for Modernism Week 2018 (February 15-25, 2018). 

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 2018. Highlights of the October Fall Preview include a wide range of tours in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and Indian Wells (including walking tours, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus and Charles Phoenix-led bus tours, a new tour showcasing homes across a range of neighborhoods, and a new mix of home tours), educational events, and evening cocktail parties. Tickets for all events may be purchased at

“The 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 2018 festival.”

On Friday, October 20, 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. Tickets are available in advance for $60 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.

Several tours will be offered for the first time during Fall Preview. The “Cul-de-Sac Experience” at Canyon View Estates #4 will take place on Sunday, October 22 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 Palm Springs Preservation Foundation will offer tours of the recently restored Kirk Douglas residence, located in the city’s Old Las Palmas neighborhood, and of the historic Frank Sinatra “Twin Palms” Estate in the Movie Colony.

A unique tour and brunch event will take place on Sunday, October 22 in Indian Wells. Guests will have a rare opportunity to view the historic Cavanagh Adobe (1922, H. Addison Sanders; Historic Landmark No 1, Indian Wells Historic Preservation Foundation), one of the oldest surviving homes in the Coachella Valley. After the tour, designer Christopher Kennedy will give an interactive lecture on home décor that integrates his Palm Springs studio with insights from Indian Wells homes he’s curated. The presentation will be followed by a champagne brunch at The VUE at Indian Wells Golf Resort. The brunch and tour runs from 9 am-12:30 pm, and is priced at $75. A special free lecture by the owners of the Cavanagh Adobe will also be presented on Friday, October 20 at 10 am at Indian Wells City Hall.

The “Framed Spaces Home Tour” on Saturday, October 21 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.

The Palm Springs Modern Committee will offer the Wexler National Register Fundraising Party at Historic Leff/Florsheim Residence on Saturday, October 21 from 5-7 pm. PS ModCom has previously raised funds to place the works of Albert Frey and E. Stewart Williams on the National Register of Historic Places, and is now raising funds to nominate architect Donald Wexler’s significant body of work. This event will take place at the Wexler-designed Leff/Florsheim residence, once described by Julius Shulman as “elegant but also romantic.” Tickets are $100 and all funds raised from this event will go toward the nomination process.

Mizell Senior Center will present a ‘House of Tomorrow / Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway Cocktail Party’ on Thursday, October 19. This midcentury modern cocktail party fundraiser benefits Mizell Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program. Guests will experience the William Krisel-designed Robert Alexander Estate, built in 1960 and christened “The House of Tomorrow” and enjoy a swanky cocktail reception at the location that became known as the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway when the King of Rock and Roll rented the home as a quiet getaway in 1966 and honeymooned there with Priscilla in 1967. Tickets for this unique event are $150.

Architectural and preservation champion Sidney Williams will be honored with a star dedication on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Her star will be unveiled during a ceremony that is  restore) located at 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive.

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 22 at 10 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.

“Mod with a Twist” returns to the Fall Preview this year with an encore “Best of” performance of their audience favorites. These witty and insightful 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.

Palm Springs Art Museum will offer a free lecture entitled “Albert Frey & Lina Bo Bardi: Environments for Life,” presented in coordination with the exhibition, Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture, on view at the museum’s Architecture and Design Center. The free lecture is at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 19 at the Annenberg Theater.

Fall Preview attendees will also be able to experience a wide range of compelling architectural tours, including the iconic Frey House II residence, a Palm Desert architectural walking tour, and the 4th Annual ONE–PS Neighborhood Home Tour, “The Essentials of Palm Springs,” showcasing significant homes in a variety of Palm Springs neighborhoods.  

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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