The Mid-Century Wonders of Palm Springs

The Mid-Century Wonders of Palm Springs

The 10,000 recently returned to Palm Springs to hunt for the best examples of mid-century modern architecture. Palm Springs is a desert oasis synonymous with exceptional weather and striking architecture, thanks to its popularity during the 1940s and 1950s as an escape for Hollywood icons (including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Elvis Presley). Read on for a curated Covid-conscious driving tour of our favorite architectural wonders in Palm Springs, including works by Richard Neutra, Dan Palmer and E. Stewart Williams.

Kaufmann House
Turn off North Palm Canyon and head up the hill to the Richard Neutra-designed Kaufmann House. Once owned by Barry Manilow and originally built in 1946 for the Kaufmann family, Neutra’s work is most widely regarded to be the best example of desert modernism. What’s more, the house was famously captured by legendary society photographer Slim Aarons on numerous occasions, conveying the timeless allure and lifestyle of Palm Springs.

The Kaufmann House is located at 470 W Vista Chino, Palm Springs.

Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra – 1946

House of Tomorrow, aka Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway
Driving through Old Las Palmas is a must, and especially essential if you’re an Elvis fan. The King and Priscilla Presley notoriously spent their honeymoon in this house (locally dubbed The Love Shack), designed by William Krisel and Dan Palmer in 1960. Circular in shape, the House of Tomorrow was first created as an experiment in mid century modern living and was eventually occupied by its developer. 

The House of Tomorrow is located at 1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs.

House of Tomorrow, William Krisel & Dan Palmer, 1960

Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate
Designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1947, Twin Palms Estate was the desert home of Frank Sinatra used by the star to escape the relentless pressures of Hollywood.  The house is centrally located in The Movie Colony, a Palm Springs neighborhood popular among Hollywood royalty and recently became available for rent for private vacations and dinners. It features an entire master wing, seven bathrooms and a central courtyard with pool.

Twin Palms Estate is located at 1145 E Vía Colusa, Palm Springs.

Twin Palms Estate, E. Stewart Williams – 1947

Indian Canyon Estates
Head past the Ace Hotel and up towards Indian Canyon trails to find one of Palm Springs’ most picturesque neighborhoods. Dotted with beautiful examples of mid-century to 70s modern homes, Indian Canyon Estates boasts generous views of the San Jacinto mountains and no visible power lines (a rarity for desert communities). Indian Canyon Estates was originally developed by Roy Fey and designed by LA-based architect Charles du Bois, with the goal of creating a resort community featuring only single story family homes. The neighborhood is home to Palm Springs’ most Instagrammed house (thanks to its curb appeal and pink door), although our favorite streets to explore are Alhambra Drive and Sierra Way.

The entrance to Indian Canyon Estates is located at 2231 S Camino Real, Palm Springs.

Old Las Palmas
The oldest and most established neighborhood in Palm Springs, Old Las Palmas oozes classic Hollywood charm (some of its first residents included Katharine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas and Clark Gable), and can be found nestled between The Movie Colony and Vista Las Palmas. Coveted and exceptionally picturesque, various star architects including Albert Frey, Donald Wexler and William Francis Cody all designed homes in Old Las Palmas, many of which are the largest in Palm Springs.

The main entrance to Old Las Palmas is located at 111 S Via Las Palmas, Palm Springs.


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