Because you just can't have too many photos of Cary Grant ...
... or his house ...
Modernism Week, a celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and culture that takes place every February in Palm Springs, CA, will give visitors a preview of its signature weeklong extravaganza this coming Columbus Day weekend. From Oct. 10 -13, the organization will highlight the city's exceptionally prolific Modernist architecture and design with a series of guided walks, double-decker bus tours, workshops, book signings, receptions, and -- of course -- shopping opportunities.
Here are some pics, and a brief listing of the numerous guided walks that will be on offer.
In this tranquil neighborhood lived some of Hollywood’s biggest stars such as Cary Grant, Dinah Shore, Van Johnson, Tony Curtis, Gloria Swanson, and Jack Benny. Frank Sinatra made it “his” neighborhood in the 1950s when his home, known as “Twin Palms,” became “party central.” Some of America's most renowned Modernist architects designed homes in this charming and prestigious area including E. Stewart Williams, William Cody, and Donald Wexler. The Movie Colony is also home to iconic architecture of the Spanish Colonial Revival style. This tour is a visual feast of the homes of Hollywood royalty and their unique architecture.
Rat Pack Playground -- Modernist Homes of Vista Las Palmas
In this trendy Mid-Century tract development of Vista Las Palmas, the classic homes are affectionately nicknamed “The Alexanders” (in honor of the developers George and Robert Alexander). The talented team of Daniel Palmer and William Krisel were the primary architects. Although created through mass production, these stunning homes appear to be custom-designed. The Hollywood elite truly embraced the Modernist style of these tract homes when this architectural style was regarded as experimental and avant-garde. Early advertising even called the area the “Beverly Hills of Palm Springs.” Debbie Reynolds, Elvis Presley, Kim Novak, Barry Manilow, and the “Rat Packers” Dean Martin and Peter Lawford are some of the stars who lived and frolicked in the “playground.” Some of the desert’s most famous Modernist architectural treasures are also located in this neighborhood including the Kaufmann Desert House, an architectural masterpiece designed by Richard Neutra.
Below: Elvis' honeymoon house
Built in 1960 as a "House of Tomorrow"
by famed mid-century Palm Springs developer Robert Alexander
as a gift for his wife Helen (are you listening, Michael?)
Heart of the City Historical Walking Tour
In these well-manicured properties lived some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Loretta Young, William Holden, Carmen Miranda, Liberace, and Jerry Lewis.
Liberace's former home home is an elegant, surprisingly restrained Mediterranean estate. But he couldn't resist placing a large candelabra in front ; there are also several “L’s” strategically placed throughout the exterior of the property – including on the garage doors, in the driveway, and in mosaic tiles in the cement at the side door.
Old Las Palmas began its development in the late 1920s and 1930s and has one of the highest concentrations of celebrity homes anywhere. Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Katharine Hepburn, Gene Autry, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore and many other Hollywood stars have been residents here. This “must see” neighborhood truly nurtured Palm Springs’ reputation as Playground of the Stars. Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased a celebrated Modernist home in this neighborhood. (See May 11, 2014 posting.)
Below: Dinah Shore's "Tennis House"