Palm Springs Modernism Elrod House

Palm Springs Modernism: Elrod House

Palm Springs has one of the largest concentrations of mid-century modern architecture in the country. Since the 1920’s, visionary modernist architects have designed sleek, modern homes that have embraced the desert environment. The dramatic geographic surroundings of the Coachella Valleyinspired a design aesthetic in the middle of the 20th Century now called Desert Modernism.

Notable for its use of glass, clean lines, natural and manufactured resources and indoor/outdoor spaces, Desert Modernism evoked a lifestyle of simple elegance and informality. Influenced by the dictates of desert living and the intense climate, the style grew out of the architects and designer’s adaptive use of inventive materials, modern construction techniques, new (post-war) technologies…and served an enthusiastic and willing clientele.

Every February, design buffs and architecture fans attend the city’s annual Modernism Week, a 10-day festival featuring architecture tours, films and lectures, art exhibitions, swanky parties and tours of famed mid-century modern homes.

Palm Springs Modernism Frank Sinatra House

Palm Springs Modernism: Frank Sinatra House


How to Experience Desert Modernism Year-Round:

Stay in a retro retreat…many of the Palm Springs boutique hotels and vacation home rentals are mid-century classics.

Guided architectural tours are available year-round…learn about the masters of mid-century modern architecture by taking a tour of the desert’s most notable architecture.

Experience a small downtown with an urban sensibility by shopping at the burgeoning Uptown Design District.

Pick up a map of mid-century modern landmarks at thePalm Springs Official Visitors Center, which was once the Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers.

Soar on the world’s largest rotating tramcars via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and see two distinct modern buildings. The Tram Valley Station designed by Albert Frey and the Tramway Mountain Station at 8,000 feet designed by E. Stewart Williams. 

Stroll the modern Palm Springs Art Museum designed by California renowned architect E. Stewart Williams.

Palm Springs has more than 100 hotels including luxury resorts, mid-century modern retreats, boutique inns, gay and lesbian resorts and inns, and vacation home rentals and condos. 

Palm Springs is located in Southern California and is less than two hours away from Los Angeles and San Diego. Daily flights are available to the Palm Springs International Airport from major U.S. cities and Canada.

Palm Springs Modernism Kauffman Home

Palm Springs Modernism: Kauffman Home

For visitor information, please visit or call 800-347-7446.


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