Celebrate Modernism in Palm Springs

Lovers of Modernism rejoice because Modernism Week 2019 is almost upon us in Great Palm Springs! Want to know what to see or do? We have you covered!

Modernism Week’s 14th annual signature event will be held February 14-24, 2019, featuring midcentury modern architecture, interior, and landscape design, art and vintage culture. Events include exterior and interior home tours, walking and bike tours, double-decker bus tours, educational lectures and presentations, garden tours, film screenings, expert panels, a classic car show, nightly parties, dinners and more.

New for 2019

Architect Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA, will present the 2019 keynote presentation on February 16 at the Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum. Safdie has designed a number of significant buildings, including the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore (recently showcased in the film ”Crazy Rich Asians”) and the Habitat ’67 at the World Exhibition Expo in Montreal.

The Modernism Week Opening Night Party falls on Valentine’s Day this year and the “Modern Love” themed event will feature cocktails and dancing at the Indian Canyons Golf Resort Clubhouse.

The Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound will showcase a refurbished midcentury home in the Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs, with 12 leading interior designers undertaking the redesign. Tours of the home will be offered daily.

Four Modernism Week Featured Homes will also be available for tours throughout the event: “Green Gables,” a 1958 home designed by Palmer & Krisel that has undergone a full renovation by H3K Design; “La Vie en Rose,” a 1958 home in Vista Las Palmas that has been renovated by Christopher Kennedy; “Axiom Desert House,” a 2,110-square-foot modern prefab by Turkel Design; and “Desert Eichler,” a newly-built replica by KUD Properties of the original homes designed by Joseph Eichler, now modernized for today’s standard of living.

Modernism Week 2019 attendees will have the opportunity to attend a play by Tom Lazarus called “The Princes of Kings Road,” which dramatizes a real late-life hospital room encounter between Richard Neutra and his fellow architectural titan Rudolph Schindler.

On February 15, Modernism Week will host a special dedication ceremony on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for acclaimed interior designer Arthur Elrod (1924-1974). Elrod’s former home will also be open for a home tour and evening cocktail party on Thursday, February 21 with special guest Nelda Linsk, an early client and life-long friend of Elrod’s.

One of Albert Frey’s most intact residential works, the Cree House in Cathedral City, has been meticulously preserved and restored to nearly its original 1955 condition. The home, never before seen by the public, will be available for daily tours during Modernism Week.

Other new events include “Midcentury Wine: California and France’s Rivalry Wine Tasting;” “Everything You Don’t Know about Modern California Architecture,” presented by Alan Hess; a new Charles Phoenix presentation called “ALOHALAND;” and a party at the Lawrence Welk estate.

Popular Returning Events and Features

Modernism Week’s CAMP (“Community and Meeting Place”) will be the central hub for Modernism Week from February 15-24. Located across from the Palm Springs Art Museum in the future downtown Palm Springs public park space, CAMP will include an information desk, box office, a café by Cheeky’s, the Modernism Week merchandise store by Destination PSP, a Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery immersive experience in partnership with JennAir and Brizo, designer lounges and a theater. The Dreamboats singing group will offer free daily performances at CAMP. Entrance into CAMP is free and open to the public.

The 18th annual Modernism Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center (February 15-18) will showcase 85 national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing design movements of the 20th century. The Modern Design Expo that adjoins the Show & Sale will feature cutting-edge modern design and technology.

Some popular returning events include the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours; the Modernism Week Signature Home Tour; tours of Sunnylands; Illuminated Modern, a sunset architectural bus tour; Frey House II tours; performances at a local residence by the Aqualillies synchronized swimmers; tours of iconic homes throughout Greater Palm Springs, including the residence formerly owned by Frank Sinatra; and architectural walking tours specially curated for Modernism Week.

If you’re looking for more happenings in the oasis, check out our full events calendar in Greater Palm Springs. What to do, where to stay and what to eat during Modernism Week


Soak in the mineral springs of The Spring Resort and Day Spa. Hot mineral water, emerging at 170 degrees is cooled and fed into one of three mineral pools at the lush Spring Resort and Day Spa. Absolute relaxation and rejuvenation is just a soak away, with guest rooms overlooking the main pool and great mountain views. The Spring also has revolutionary special health programs including juice and fasting cleanses. the-spring.com

Villa Royale reopens in south Palm Springs. The newly redesigned Villa Royale has arguably one of the best mountain views in Palm Springs. The interior design is equally stunning, with hotel owners sourcing original mid- century modern furniture from local vintage markets, and graphic art works completed by artists who lived in- residence and decorate the grounds. The accompanying restaurant and bar Del Rey is an intimate locale with a dimly-lit, moody vibe. villaroyale.com

Kick off your California dreams – and your shoes – at Hotel Paseo: Between the vintage airstream in the grass- filled central courtyard, local art hanging in the halls and a ‘New American’ restaurant AC3 serving new twists on classic dishes like Lobster B.L.T. and S’Mores, Palm Deserts’ first hotel in 30 years is a California dream. Complimentary sunrise yoga and a fresh coffee shop in the lobby make this a great base for laidback luxury. hotelpaseo.com

Domo Sushi is a feast for the eyes with striking plating (and sake).

Chow down at the #1 eatery on Yelp’s top 100 places to eat: TKB Bakery. TKB Bakery in Indio topped Yelp’s list of top 100 places to eat in 2018. The bakery (TKB stands for ‘The Kids Business’) was started more than 20 years ago by a trio of local siblings. The sandwiches they started making to make some extra money for Christmas has now turned into the top spot in the USA to eat! tkbbakery.com


APPRECIATE ART: Coachella Walls: Launched in 2014, the Coachella Walls is a mural project by local artists, showcasing art that reflects Greater Palm Springs’ agrarian roots and the city of Coachella’s community. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour to spot all of the murals.

APPRECIATE ART: Become a desert artisan at Old Town Artisan Studio: Visitors can channel their inner creative at the Old Town Artisan Studio, where they can take up classes in everything from clay sculpting to jewellery making. oldtownartisanstudios.org

OUT IN NATURE: Planets and galaxies on view at Rancho Mirage Observatory: Gaze at the stars and learn about the galaxy at the Rancho Mirage Observatory. It’s free to enter (tours are Tuesday to Saturday at 9am and 3pm) and features a state-of-the-art telescope, rotating rooftop dome with the ability to open, and outdoor observation deck.Planet viewing is done at Stargazing parties and must be booked in advance. ranchomiragelibrary.org/observatory

APPRECIATE ART: Strive for world peace and Tai Chi at Sunnylands Centre & Gardens: In 1976 Frank Sinatra married his wife at this expansive estate, where guests can now tour the visitors’ Center and Gardens – gardens include schedules of free tai chi and yoga. But Sunnylands’ relevance in the world of global politics can’t be understated. For decades national and international leaders convened here to ‘promote world peace and facilitate international agreement’. Former President Obama hosted China’s president, Jordan’s king and more during his presidency, earning Sunnylands the nickname of ‘Western White House’. sunnylands.org

Words by Editor Arrnott Olssen