Every year tens of thousands of people, from all corners of the globe, flock to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, the annual celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture. This exciting festival takes place February 13-23, 2020 and features more than 350 events including the Modernism Show & Sale, Signature Home Tours, films, lectures, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, nightly parties and live music, walking and bike tours, tours of Sunnylands, fashion, classic cars, modern garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and more.

“Modernism Week is one of the largest and most publicized architectural events in the Palm Springs area, attracting both national and international appeal and attendance topping over 100,000 visitors,” says Maria Patakas, Realtor, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. “We look forward to the week’s events each year as a great opportunity to showcase our unique homes for sale and the incredible lifestyle the Palm Springs and Desert region affords to its’ residents.”

For architectural buffs, contemporary design enthusiasts and just curious home aficionados, Palm Springs boasts the largest number of mid-century modern architecture in the country and is viewed as a “must-see” for those that appreciate this unique, still popular and sought after home style.

Known as “Desert Modernism,” notable architects, such as Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, and John Lautner were attracted to the area due to its unique and inspiring environment.  Jan Horn, Executive Director of the Architectural Division for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, notes that these contemporary homes were designed between 1945 – 1960.

“The California lifestyle fostered these informal houses and the Palm Springs area was always considered a favorite home destination for celebrities in Los Angeles as well as desert seeking people from across the nation,” says Horn.  The look became synonymous with the Palm Springs lifestyle, where country clubs, martinis, and pool parties captured the “cool” getaway vibe.

Reflecting the times they were designed, the characterization of these properties include open floor plans, large sliding glass doors, and clean lines. Mid-century modern homes go back to 1945 in Los Angeles when the Case Study Houses commissioned architects to design efficient as well as affordable housing for the residential housing boom as a result of returning soldiers at the end of World War II. Its progressive architecture was referred to as contemporary, with the flat and gable roofs, blank stucco walls, and indoor/outdoor living.

“Mid-century modern architecture is as popular today as it was when introduced in the 1940s,” adds Horn.  These simply designed contemporary houses feature a combination of indoor-outdoor living as well as a legacy of design integrity. “ 

Palm Springs offers several guided tours year-round of the desert’s most notable architecture.  You may also pick up a map of modern landmarks at the Palm Springs Official Visitor Center. For more information on events and tickets during Modernism Week, visit: https://www.modernismweek.com/

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to offer several mid-century and modern homes for sale in Palm Springs and the surrounding areas. Here is just a partial listing of these extraordinary homes that are ready for you to make an offer.

252 Ridge Road, Palm Springs, CA

Nestled into the desert mountain landscape and perched high above downtown Palm Springs lies this one-of-a-kind luxurious estate. Set on 70+ acres of prime land within a hidden valley, 7 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half baths are situated in 5 individual villas. The original home on the property, The Rock House, built by famed architect Albert Frey, features a 2-room suite with walls of glass, fireplace, hand-carved Balinese garden doors, claw-foot tub, rock shower, and meditation garden. The main structure contains the kitchen, formal dining room that seats 32 guests and a secret 5000 bottle wine cellar. The master and guest bedrooms offer a touch of Provence with natural rock walls and authentic architectural elements. There is a swimming pool, spas, numerous terraces, walking paths, hiking trails, waterfalls and outdoor amphitheater perfect for yoga/meditation or entertainment. The property is reached by funicular, private roads, and stone pathways. Tucked away from the world yet minutes from town and Palm Springs International Airport, this sprawling estate offers maximum privacy, an enviable natural setting, and awe-inspiring views. 

49355 Sunrose Lane, Palm Desert, CA

Stunning designed Desert Contemporary Estate on .8-Acre. Enter the private driveway to the porte-cochere. Inside features a gorgeous wide-open interior, and a massive south wall of glass offering amazing pool, patio and mountain views. Dramatic living room with rock fireplace, wood-lined ceiling, and stone floors. Wet-bar and game room offer additional space to entertain. Large cooks’ kitchen with island, stainless steel appliances, tons of cabinetry and pantry share view. The dining room offers direct patio access and views. Private and spacious view master suite with sitting area, lavish spa bath, double vanities, sauna, and over-sized walk-in closet. Two luxurious guest suites, plus office suite. A large misted patio, architecturally designed pool, fire-pit, outdoor kitchen, and golf -tee await fun, grand entertainment, and relaxation outdoors. Make evenings extra special, lite up amazing mountain silhouettes at the flip of a switch.

173 Tamit Place, Palm Desert, CA

Experience dramatic architectural lines by award-winning& renowned architect, Guy Dreier at the exclusive BIGHORN. Sited on an oversized private lot – this gem is located within walking distance to the newly constructed clubhouse. Upon arrival, pass tranquil waterfalls as you enter through an impressive glass pivot door. You will be greeted w/ panoramic mountain views, expansive walls of glass, T & G ceilings, pocket glass doors throughout to enjoy indoor/outdoor living spaces that flow together seamlessly. This solar-powered home includes wine room, wet bar, marble, travertine & granite slabs throughout w/ every detail meticulously finished. Enjoy the spacious yard perfect for a putting green, Casita & entertainment. Sophisticated car collectors will enjoy their own private vault to a 5-car garage w/ turntable. Incredible opportunity to live within steps of Bighorn’s amenities!

276 Desert Lakes Drive, Palm Springs, CA

Spacious and bright with spectacular western mountain views, this mid-century residence was designed by famed architect Richard Harrison (Wexler/Harrison) Daytime splendor is only rivaled by nighttime ambiance perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing in the professionally designed private courtyard all just steps away from a pool and spa. The residence has two bedrooms and two bathrooms plus a den. High walls of glass sliders overlook the San Jacinto mountains while clerestory windows bring in generous amounts of natural light. Updates in the kitchen include Carerra marble countertops and the bathrooms have updated vanities and Toto toilets. The HVAC system and roof have been recently upgraded. Stereo surround-sound fills the home. Seven Lakes offers carefree living at its best with Ted Robinson executive golf course, 15 pools/spas, pro shop, putting greens, tennis court, William Cody designed clubhouse with restaurant, bar/lounge, terrace patio, mature landscaping, and seven lakes!

70375 Calico Road, Rancho Mirage, CA

Situated in the exclusive and prestigious community of Thunderbird Heights in Rancho Mirage, California, it was built in 1957. A fusion of art and architecture in a Mid Century design with a Moroccan theme. On nearly 1.36 acres, the modern residence has approximately 6700 sq. feet of living space with expansive and unobstructed views of the Coachella Valley. A large living room and stone fireplace and bar, chefs kitchen, theater, spacious 1400 sq. foot master suite with sitting area, fireplace, and four additional en suite bedrooms. Dine Al Fresco in the tranquil outdoor gardens and grounds with pool, spa & three fire pits while enjoying the mesmerizing views of the majestic mountains and natural beauty of the desert scape. An attached casita with two en suite bedrooms, fireplace, living room, and full kitchen has its own private entrance. Fabled to have housed one of our former president’s and his legendary guest, thereby earning its name, the JFK Wing. Some of the most famed celebrities have graced the estate through the years. 

Visit us online at www.pacificsothebysrealty.com for a complete listing of available properties throughout Southern California.

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