Maximizing Modernism Week
If it’s February in Palm Springs, it’s time to celebrate modernism! Modernism Week is an annual 11-day festival focused on midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture. Over the last few years, the celebration has grown to include nearly 35o events including rare tours inside iconic homes, an incredible marketplace, nightly parties, lectures, films, and architectural walking, biking, and double-decker bus tours of some of Palm Springs’ most celebrated neighborhoods. Even if you don’t consider yourself a mid-mod fan, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. Events change annually, but here is a guide to some of our favorite events during Modernism Week.
Palm Springs Modernism Show
This world-class marketplace of 125 premier national and international exhibitors will feature rare vintage furniture, décor, art, and jewelry. The emphasis is definitely on midcentury modern, but all design movements of the 20th century are included. The show has expanded to also include 21st-century original designs for modern living like dynamic building materials, home appliances, hand-crafted furniture and accessories, contemporary art and photography, and much more. Traditionally held the first weekend of Modernism Week at the Convention Center, tickets are required.
Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour
Get an overview of the most significant midcentury architectural treasures of Palm Springs from the top of a double-decker bus! This is a fun way to cover a lot of ground, and if you want to spice things up there are even special tours led by local drag queens.
Frey House II Home Tour
The influential architect Albert Frey lived and worked in the Palm Springs area, producing more than 200 building designs over his prolific career. Perched part way up Mount San Jacinto, this was Frey’s long-time personal residence and is considered a classic example of the Desert Modernism style. (Yes, this is the little house that’s built around a really big boulder.) Frey House II is rarely open to the public for tours. Open daily during Modernism Week. Go see it!
Hidden Cody Tennis Club Villas Neighborhood & Homes Tour
Explore six completely renovated “hidden” midcentury homes designed by William F. Cody, nestled next to the historic Palm Springs Tennis Club. Cody's brilliant architecture takes full advantage of the spectacular mountain views and each home has a very unique floor plan. The exteriors of the homes feature dramatic local stonework, flat roof lines, and lush landscaping.
House of Tomorrow Home Tour
Popularly known as the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway or the House of Tomorrow, Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned at the Alexander Estate in 1967. Located in the historic Vista Las Palmas neighborhood and recently renovated, this extraordinary home was built in 1960 by architect William Krisel and features four interconnected circular living areas and custom furniture.
Boots on Arenas – The Ultimate Street Party Celebration
There are dozens of parties during Modernism Week, but this bash in the Arenas District is free of charge and should be a hoot. Pull out your go-go boots and the biggest wig you can find, time to celebrate Nancy Sinatra and her classic song from the 60s, These Boots are Made for Walking. Nancy’s family will provide a special gift to the best dressed of the night (so get ready to sashay).
Where’s the best place for gay men to stay for Modernism Week?
Santiago Resort is located just minutes from most Modernism Week activities and consistently ranks at the top of Tripadvisor’s Specialty Lodging and Small Inns categories for gay men in Palm Springs.