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Special New Departure! Midcentury Top Ten Tour: Ten Architects Who Made Palm Springs Modern

Newly scheduled special tour from the historic Azure Sky Hotel, including pre-departure tour of hotel, coffee, and pastries. An exploration of the modernists whose midcentury designs left a legacy.

$130 (3 hrs)

Category: *Newly Added, @Palm Springs, Tour (Bus), Tour (Exterior)


Modernism Week is pleased to offer a special departure of our Midcentury Top Ten Tour!  This will depart at 10:00 am from the Azure Sky Hotel.  Come early between 9:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. to tour this beautifully renovated 1959 boutique hotel designed in the desert modern style seen throughout the historic Tahquitz River Estates neighborhood, and enjoy coffee and pastries before your departure. 

This tour is an in-depth, insiders’ exploration of the works of Palm Springs’ most notable modernist architects, led by David Dixon, one of Modernism Week’s best 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.


Things to Know

This is an added special tour that departs from the Azure Sky Hotel, 1661 S. Calle Palo Fierro, Palm Springs, CA 92264.
Located south of downtown Palm Springs in the historic Tahquitz River Estates neighborhood, near the Ace Hotel. 
From 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., tour the renovated 1957 Azure Sky Hotel and enjoy coffee and pastries prior to departure. 
Mini-coach tour departs at 10:00 a.m.  Please be ready to board at 9:45 a.m. 
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.
Ample street parking available close to Azure Sky Hotel.
Handicap parking is available. 
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location

Azure Sky Hotel, 1661 Calle Palo Fierro, Palm Springs, CA 92264
View Map


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


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