When Nook Sales Experts match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. That’s why we’re bringing you the #NookNeighborhoods series, where every Wednesday you’ll find cool history and culture to make sure you don’t overlook an area that could have the best nook for you.
We can’t contain our excitement over Mid-Century homes here at Nook, so Modernism Week tickles us right in those gorgeous architectural styles upon which we’re building our name. It only makes sense that such a hallowed event in architecture takes place in the greater Palm Springs area, where the greatest collection and celebration of the Mid-Century style resides.
Between early pioneers, distinguished architects, and Hollywood stars, Palm Spring virtually invented Desert Modernism and didn’t limit it to homes. They created a glamorous haven for celebrities by using the clean lines, reinvented materials and indoor/outdoor aesthetic in all their buildings, including hotels, inns, commercial and residential. Since movie stars under contract could escape to Palm Springs while staying within the “2 hour” clause -- they had to be available to their studio within 2 hours at any given time -- this desert oasis quickly became their home away from home. Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller, Loretta Young and Liberace were just some of the movie star elite who encouraged Palm Springs’ careful, elegant development in the Mid-Century Modern movement.
This famous nook isn’t just for the rich and famous, however; thanks to the neighborhood of Twin Palms Estates, first built in 1957, The Alexander House turned Desert Modernism ideals into an affordable, informal style for the upper middle class. Nestled within the San Bernadino, Santa Rose and Mount San Jacinto mountain ranges, slightly cool breezes are enough to keep the area feeling like a luxury resort regardless of its desert locale. Keeping the nostalgia while appealing to more modern needs has become Palm Springs’ forte. Realizing the appeal to residents and tourists alike, Downtown Palm Springs has transformed itself into a tourist destination, a central location for luxury brands to connect with valued customers. They’re learning how to bask in the celebrity glory while also creating a “future-proof” landscape to attract all ages with instagrammable hot spots. Even when daring to build a 6-story high-rise mixed-use building, Palm Springs puts their perfect touch on it by adding a rooftop “playground space” for adults.
The two oldest buildings, the McCallum Adobe (1884) and the Cornelia White House (1893) are run by the prestigious Palm Springs Historical Society, with exhibits ranging from Presidents in Palm Springs, Lucy & Desi’s home movies, the movies made in Palm Springs and the story of esteemed local architects George and Robert Alexander, responsible for so much of the area’s Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. With more than ten walking tours available to the public at any given time, you’re able to bask in the history of Hollywood’s favorite leisure resort while enjoying the comfort of a small town feel. You know your neighbors here, and whether you live in Palm Springs year round or as a getaway, the safety of your home is assured as much by people looking out for one another as any security system.
It isn’t all just sipping martinis poolside or on a rooftop, though there’s plenty of that kind of fun; Palm Springs hosts a great variety of cultural attractions to keep residents and visitors entertained. Investing in a subscription to the McCallum Theatre will give you lots of reasons to escape to the desert for big Broadway musicals or popular singers and performers. They also have a robust arts education program with local schools. Palm Canyon Theatre also hosts many kid-friendly and well known shows, now in their 20th year. The Annenberg Theater ties their programming with the Palm Springs Art Museum, where you learn more about each piece through workshops, lectures and exhibits.
The centerpiece of Palm Springs remains its devotion to the architectural style that defines it, and that is why Modernism Week is presented here. With its mission to “celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields,” October launches its social season with a Modernism preview week. Get just a taste of the ways you can spend your time indulging in and understanding how the Modernism aesthetic created the glamorous lifestyle around Palm Springs. Modernism Week has its Fall Preview October 19-22, and tickets for the February 2018 event go on sale starting November 1.
While you’re there, use our innovative Search With Style® app on an Android or iPhone to see the best new homes available in Palm Springs..