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Midcentury Top Ten Tour: Ten Architects Who Made Palm Springs Modern

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the works of ten talented modernists whose careers in the city’s midcentury heyday left a legacy that’s now famous worldwide.

$130 (2.5 hrs)

Category: @Palm Springs, Tour (Bus), Tour (Exterior)


Join us for an in-depth, insiders’ exploration of the works of Palm Springs’ most notable modernist architects, led by the city’s top professional guides. This fascinating small group tour highlights representative works by the journeymen designers whose work in the city’s midcentury heyday left a legacy that’s now famous worldwide.

A group of unusually talented architects came to Palm Springs in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, all of them firmly rooted in the new modernist philosophy that came out of Europe earlier in the century. Together, often working side-by-side, these young architects created the “desert modernist” style for which Palm Springs has become famous. And in the last 70 years their work has influenced architects and designers around the globe.

You’ll see and learn about the work of Albert Frey, William F. Cody, Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, William Krisel, Richard Harrison, John Porter Clark, Robson Chambers, Hugh Kaptur and Walter S. White.

These tours are designed to offer an in-depth introduction to the city’s fascinating past and its extraordinary gathering of architectural talent. No microphones. No headsets. Just a friendly traveling conversation about a unique and enduring architectural legacy.

You’ll travel with fellow modernism fans in a small motor coach (22-seats) to visit representative works, consider how they relate to one another and ask where they fit in the sweep of modern architectural history. It’s a fun traveling group discussion designed to identify the distinctions and commonalities, successes and failures and enduring achievements of the architects whose humble work in a small desert town ended up captivating the world.

David Dixon is Creative Project Manager for Modernism Week and has been a tour guide on the Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours since 2013. A resident of Palm Springs since 2001, David enthusiastically enjoys  sharing his breadth of knowledge of Palm Springs’ unique architecture with visitors and locals alike.

Tom Donohue has been working with Modernism Week for more than a decade as a volunteer, tour guide and coordinator of the organization's Twilight Tours. A Palm Springs resident since 2005, Tom is passionate about midcentury architecture and the area's rich architectural history.


Things to Know

This tour is designed for curious adult learners; it is not appropriate for children.
No pets, other than service dogs, are allowed on the mini-coach.
Free parking available.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location

Palm Springs Visitors Center, 2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
View Map


Photo Credits: Tramway Gas Station c
ourtesy Darren Bradley, Twin Palms Estate courtesy David A. Lee


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