Palm Springs Is A MCM Treasure Trove
February has rolled around once again – and with it comes the much-touted Palm Springs Modernism Week. What is it that sets Palm Springs apart from other Mid-Century laden destinations (like, maybe, our wonderful Eichler neighborhoods…), attracting MCM enthusiasts from all over the world to its weeklong celebration of design and architecture?
Stepping into Palm Springs is like taking a step back in time. It probably has more MCM homes and buildings per capita than just about anywhere. Back in the day, it was playground for the Rat Pack and Hollywood’s A-listers; Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Elvis – to name a very few. Today Palm Springs still maintains that Tinseltown allure.
The sleek, modern structures that were built as Palm Springs grew from a village to a favored getaway for the rich and famous came to be known as Desert Modernism. Much like the California Modern style found in the homes built by Joseph Eichler, the MCM Palm Springs desert homes embrace their environment with indoor / outdoor living spaces, clean lines, and lots of glass. Very inviting to Mid-Century enthusiasts.
Palm Springs attracted a virtual Who’s Who of Mid-Century architects including Richard Neutra, E. Stewart Williams, John Porter Clark, John Lautner, and William Krisel. Using the latest post-war technology, modern techniques, and avant-garde materials these visionaries created buildings of every sort that still endure today as the world flocks to Palm Springs’ annual celebration of Modern design.
Photo of Frank Sinatra House from Visit Palm Springs