It’s All About the Home Tour at Palm Springs Modernism Week 2019

As you may recall I recently took a Sunday stroll through Mid-century Modern Long Beach and I must admit I had an ulterior motive for doing so. Palm Springs Modernism Week was just around the corner and I was getting antsy! I needed my mid-century fix! Luckily, it helped tide me over until the big event which just wrapped up last week. Once again, Modernism Week was a blast especially since this year I decided to focus on my favorite aspect of the celebration – the home tour (I did receive complimentary passes).

In past years, I’ve experienced a variety of fun events at Modernism Week from lectures, to tours, to film screenings and the highlight has always been the home tour. So this time I decided to narrow my focus and fully indulge in my favorite event resulting in three unique tours in the dessert region.

I started with the Little Beverly Hills Home Tour in the heart of Palm Springs. The neighborhood was developed in the mid 1950’s as Ramon Rise Estates and was filled with streets called Canon, Beverly, Roxbury and Bedford. Sound familiar? Most of these same street names are found in Beverly Hills. Eventually the neighborhood became known as Little Beverly Hills and today it’s officially recognized as such.

The street names are just about the only similarities between the two neighborhoods as you won’t find any mega mansions here. Instead there are a range of modestly sized ranch homes with several shared floor-plans.

Over the years, several of the homes fell into neglect but recently the neighborhood has been a haven of renovation and restoration. Our tour consisted of 6 homes that have all been restored within the past 7 years and several are now offered as vacation rentals.

From Palm Springs I headed to Rancho Mirage for the Tamarisk Country Club Home Tour. Founded in 1952 by developer Lou Halper and the Marx Brothers the neighborhood features spacious homes designed by such famed architects as William F. Cody and Wallace Neff. Several Hollywood figures owned homes here including Frank Sinatra, William Wyler, Darryl Zanuck and, of course, the Marx Bros.

This year’s tour, the first for the neighborhood, featured 4 beautifully maintained homes built between 1967 and 1983. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed so you’ll have to take my word for it that they were quite impressive. Equally impressive were the homes on the Indian Canyons Neighborhood Home Tour which wrapped up my Modernism Week.

Originally known as Canyon Country Club the neighborhood was developed around a 18-hole golf course in the early 1960’s. Ideally located in the south end of town it was also home to several famous figures including Walt Disney, Don Adams and Fess Parker.

Of the three neighborhoods I toured I must admit this was my favorite. Perhaps, it’s because the homes are the quintessential Palm Springs style with sparking white exteriors, fantastically mod interiors and backyards overlooking a lush, green fairway.

There were six homes on the tour and not a bad banana in the bunch. Each was uniquely appointed and filled with drool-worthy furnishings and fixtures.

Though the weather had been less than ideal for much of the week the sun was shining and mountains were glistening with freshly fallen snow making the neighborhood feel like a true slice of paradise.

Even Doris Day and Rock Hudson couldn’t help but smile.

Once again, Palm Springs Modernism Week was a true delight. It really is one of my favorite events of the year and each visit makes me fall in love with the area more and more. I can’t wait until October!

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