Collection by Aaron Britt

Hello from the Salton Sea

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After my stop at Salvation Mountain, my two travel companions and I headed north on 111 to see the handful of modernist sites on the Salton Sea. The massive saline body of water is the biggest lake in California and occupies a truly barren, strange stretch of the Imperial Valley. Some 35 miles long and 10 miles across, the Salton Sea was something of a pleasure center in the middle of the last century. Speed boats, zippy yacht clubs, Hollywood celebs, and sunseekers of all stripes made the trip out to the lake that touches San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties. Now, the majority of visitors are the untold thousands of birds that stop over on their migration route. We three peregrines were after a design oasis though: an Albert Frey-designed yacht club in the town of North Shore.

It was a pretty hazy day on the Salton Sea when we visited. But the immense flatness of the lake and the mountains in…
It wasn't the Albert Frey-designed North Shore Yacht Club, but I did like the Salton Sea Visitor Center. The small,…
A lovely dessert bloom just behind the visitor center. It also shows the startling variety of fast-moving clouds that…
The shore of the Salton Sea at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area was littered with the dried carcasses of fish.…
Beyond the visitor center, my favorite structure at this particular stretch of beach was this one. It's a replica of…
Again, those epic mountains. In prehistoric times the Salton Sea would have been part of the Sea of Cortez between Baja…
About a mile past the visitor center, we came to the North Shore Yacht Club designed by Albert Frey in 1959. It had…
This was actually my favorite view from the building. I was up on one of the terraces off the Compass Room (now an…
Here's a view of the facade that faces the water. It's quite spruced up, and made using the same kind of undulating…
Sadly the cocktail lounge that used to be in place is no longer there. For a good look at what the building looked like…
This is a building just to the south of the Yacht Club that shows you just what kind of repair the place was in before…
Finally, here's a glimpse of the wonderful modernist staircase you see when you come in the front door. It's certainly…
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