One of our favorite outings, the Palm Springs Museum’s Architecture and Design Center is a must see for anyone interested in mid-century architecture and desert design. Formerly the Santa Fe Savings and Loan, the iconic glass and steel building is a design mecca showcasing exhibits of some of the Coachella Valley’s most significant architects and designers.
The Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, in downtown Palm Springs is the hub of the museum’s exploration of architecture and design, and houses related exhibitions and educational and community programs, as well as research space and a storage area for the museum’s growing architecture and design collections and archives.
The building, purchased by the museum in 2011, is a classic midcentury International style structure designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1961 as the Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan. After changing hands several times, it received Class 1 Historic Site protective status. The rehabilitation was overseen by preeminent Los Angeles architecture firm Marmol Radziner, known for the restoration of the famed Kaufmann House and Ship of the Desert residence, both in Palm Springs. The firm based its restoration designs on black-and-white photographs of the building taken by Julius Shulman, as well as Williams’original drawings.
The 13,000 square-foot glass and steel building is elevated above street level, and the glass pavilion features floor-to-ceiling windows that perfectly frame the cityscape and the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains. The main level features gallery space, includes offices, and a store located in and around the bank vault, which retains its original door. The lower level includes a study center with meeting space, archive and collection spaces, archivist office, and a library.
Architecture and Design Center
Sun, Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thu 12-8 p.m.; Free 4-8 p.m.
(Free admission sponsored by the City of Palm Springs)
For more info, visit the museum’s website.