Palm Springs Midcentury Modern Fast Facts
Palm Springs California is world famous for having the biggest concentration of mid-century modern architecture in the United States, and one of the largest collections of well-preserved 20th century modern properties – both commercial and residential – in the world. In 2006, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized Palm Springs for its achievements in preserving mid-century modern architecture.
The annual Palm Springs Modernism Week celebrates “all things modern” including architecture shows, celebrations, property tours, educational lectures and fun events and parties. The week-long-plus Modernism week, held in conjunction with President’s Day every year since 2001, is the only event of its kind in the USA.
Alexander in Twin Palms Circa 1957
Alexander Homes: The Alexander Construction Company, with architect William Krisel built more than 2,000 “midcentury modern” tract homes in Palm Springs in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Today, they are highly sought after real estate and celebrated properties. Alexander homes are often compared in style and design to the popular Eichler homes in Northern California (Bay Area) and Southern California.
When first built in 1959, an Alexander Homes sold for about $19,500. Today, they sell for anywhere from $300,000 (for a fixer) to $1 million depending on neighborhood, size and condition.
Built in 1955, The Ocotillo Lodge (now a condo hotel) was the first Palm Springs construction project by the Alexander family and became the Alexander family’s home for some time while they completed residential communities. It remains in operation today.
There are dozens of classic midcentury modern hotels (stylish small boutique hotels) and hundreds of furnished mid-century homes available today for holiday or vacation rental and lodging accommodations throughout Palm Springs Ca.
Nationally and internationally renowned architects Donald Wexler, Albert Frey, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Bill Krisel, and William Cody contributed their talents in designing the world-famous Palm Springs architectural landscape.
The Kaufmann House in Palm Springs
Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House located in Palm Springs California at 470 West Vista Chino Drive was ranked second on a 2008 “Best Southern California Houses of All Time”, based on a survey of well-known architects, historians, and preservationists.
Twin Palms, the first neighborhood tract of Alexanders built in Palm Springs during 1957-58, is the most photographed and most widely published of the Palm Springs midcentury modern neighborhoods featured in Julius Schulman’s book “Palm Springs Modern.” Twin Palms, located in South Palm Springs just south of Twin Palms Drive, contains about 90 Alexander homes, each about 1,600 sq ft in living space.
The Vista Las Palmas neighborhood in Palm Springs is one of Palm Springs most desirable midcentury modern neighborhoods with the largest and most expensive Alexanders (ranging in price from $650,000 to $1 million or more). It is also the Alexander neighborhood located nearest to downtown Palm Springs Ca.
Many banks, gas stations, restaurants and other commercial buildings in Palm Springs are midcentury modern in style, designed by noteworthy 20th century modern architects.
Hollywood and Palm Springs midcentury modern architecture have a special connection, with movie-makers and stars past and present drawn to the style, easy living, and privacy that midcentury modern design provides. You can even rent some of the many homes owned by Hollywood’s elite for your next Palm Springs vacation.
Sparkling blue swimming pools are the centerpiece of the Palm Springs modern vacation home experience. About 75% of the homes built in Palm Springs have private pools.
Experience Palm Springs Desert Modernism
- Stay in a mid-century modern retreat when you visit Palm Springs. Many of the Palm Springs small hotels and vacation home rentals are mid-century classics.
- Take a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive and pick up something for your own home at one of the many midcentury modern and vintage boutiques.
- Take a tour! Guided and self-guided tours of notable Palm Springs mid-century architecture are available year-round.
- Attend the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week, held each year around President’s Day, for special architecture tours, events, programs, and celebrations.
Read about Palm Springs Modern
- Palm Springs Weekend: The Architecture and Design of a Midcentury Oasis by Andrew Danish and Alan Hess
- Julius Schulman: Palm Springs by Michael Stern and Alan Hess
- Palm Springs Holiday by Peter Moruzzi
- Palm Springs Mid-century Modern by Dolly Faibyshev
- Palm Springs Modern: Houses in the California Desert by Adele Cygelman, David Glomb and Joseph Rosa