Palm Springs Modernism Week is Shagadelic Baby!

Groovy hits the desert in a big way with Modernism Week. The annual 10-day festival hosts 350 events showcasing the best of all things mid-century. Architecture, art, fashion, decor, landscaping, talks and more provide inspiration for how to emulate the 1950’s in your own home. 

Over 100,000 people attend the festival. Events are spread throughout Palm Springs, so no one location is overcrowded. 

Mid-century buffs purchase tickets to events showcasing vestiges from days when go-go boots were de rigueur and smoking was cool.  

Vintage Vespas and trailers make one yearn for the open roads of yesteryear. Cruising buffs learn the edgy elegance of mid-century ships from maritime historian Peter Knego. 

But the festival highlight is the house tours. Stunning homes are sprinkled within thirty-five historic neighborhoods. Palm Springs has one of the largest concentrations of preserved mid-century modern homes in the world. The crème de la crème are open for visitors to tour.  

King's Point mid-century homes.

King’s Point

This community boasts iconic William Krisel houses. The architect along with his business partner Dan Saxon Palmer built 2,500 tract homes in Palm Springs beginning in 1953.

Six King’s Point residents opened their impeccably refurbished Krisel masterpieces for Modernism Week, allowing guests a peek inside. Colorful Roche Bobois sofas, neon art, shag rugs, and waterfall chandeliers elicit oohs and aahs. Owners graciously answer guests questions. Tickets for the two-hour, self guided tour of the interiors and exteriors costs $110.   

Palm Springs Modernism Week 2024Canyon View Estates 

Canyon View Estates is another example of the famed architect’s work. He and developer Roy Fey built condominium homes in the estate’s park-like setting in 1962. Homes comprised of quintessential mid-century style pop-up gable roof designs with clerestory windows, patterned shadow block, and open carports sit among the 40-acre neighborhood in South Palm Springs. The mountain views were paramount for Fey, so he had all electrical wires placed underground. Cutting edge at that time.

Seven Canyon View Estates’ condos are open to tour. Including a few on Azul Circle where many artists, magazine photographers and Hollywood directors descend when they need to depict the mid-century life style. 

These homes which originally sold for $22,000 – $31,000 depending on the size, now fetch $795,000. Rightfully so, given the history and uniqueness of the properties. Pride in ownership is evident when strolling around the rooms filled with classic furniture sourced from the era. Rat Pack vibes with vintage bar carts and record players spinning vinyl are throughout. Classic Thunderbirds, Cadillacs, and Lincolns decorate driveways. A one-and-a-half hour, self guided tour of the interiors and exteriors costs $95.

Artist Shag

Shag at Modernism Week

Other offerings during Modernism Week include a meet and greet with famed retro artist, Shag, at his gallery in downtown Palm Springs. His colorful illustrations celebrate a bygone decade of dinking and partying in lavish surroundings. Guests can purchase items and have him sign their piece. 

Modernism Week Show

Mid-Century For Sale

Attendees who want to take home the best in mid-century design can purchase a $30 ticket to the Palm Springs Modernism Show at the convention center where 125 vendors sell their wares. Musicians will especially enjoy the vintage 20th-century piano display that takes center stage in the lobby, with professionals tickling the ivories. 

Mark your calendar for 2025 when Modernism Week will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary February 13th-23rd. Tickets to the event go on sale November 1st, 2024 on their website. 

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