Palm Springs, California

written by:
March 24, 2009

In Palm Springs, California, “mid-century modern” connotes more than just Eames chairs and glass walls; it also hints at Hollywood Regency. From the 1920s through the 1970s, silver screen stars from Frank Sinatra to Bob Hope built vacation homes in the Coachella Valley by modern architects such as E. Stewart Williams and John Lautner. But in Palm Springs, modernism became more that just a style for celebrities, it became a way of life for the masses, too. The Alexander Construction Company built over 2,500 affordable tract homes designed by the likes of Charles DuBois, Donald Wexler, and, predominantly, William Krisel.

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  In the 1940s, Edgar J. Kaufmann, a Pittsburgh department store giant and the same Kaufmann who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build his Falling Water home in Pennsylvania, asked architect Richard Neutra to built a vacation home for his family in Palm Springs. The resulting home is now one of Neutra’s best-known works.
    In the 1940s, Edgar J. Kaufmann, a Pittsburgh department store giant and the same Kaufmann who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build his Falling Water home in Pennsylvania, asked architect Richard Neutra to built a vacation home for his family in Palm Springs. The resulting home is now one of Neutra’s best-known works.
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  The Wexler Steel Houses, constructed by the Alexander Company in the 1960s.
    The Wexler Steel Houses, constructed by the Alexander Company in the 1960s.
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  At the 4th Annual Modernism Week in Palm Springs, architect William Krisel was honored with a star bearing his name along the city’s Walk of Stars. Krisel is shown above at the ceremony with his wife, Corinne.
    At the 4th Annual Modernism Week in Palm Springs, architect William Krisel was honored with a star bearing his name along the city’s Walk of Stars. Krisel is shown above at the ceremony with his wife, Corinne.
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  Sidney Williams's love of architecture and design stems from her childhood growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she found modern art and architecture around every corner.
    Sidney Williams's love of architecture and design stems from her childhood growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she found modern art and architecture around every corner.
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  Wind turbines cover the landscape just north of Palm Springs.
    Wind turbines cover the landscape just north of Palm Springs.
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  The Gand House, a home designed by Charles DuBois in 1958.
    The Gand House, a home designed by Charles DuBois in 1958.
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  Modern Way.
    Modern Way.

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